On one particular day we had been discussing fractions, and we had worked on a number of problems from real life situations that involved the fractions one-half, one-fourth, and one-third. I then gave the students some problems to work on their own. Jahmai asked me for help on the following problem: “Fabienne had $6.30. She spent one-third of it on a gift for her baby brother. How much money does she have left?”
“What do you know about this problem?” I asked.
“I know Fabienne has $6.30 and she spent one-third of it for a present,” Jahmai said.
“What would one-third of six dollars be?” I asked.
“I don’t get it,” Jahmai said.