In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on March 22, 2023.

Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies.

Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conversation.

Hey, fellow mathematicians! Welcome to the podcast where Math is Figure-Out-Able. I'm Pam Harris.

Kim:

And I'm Kim Montague.

Pam:

And this episode is a MathStratChat episode. What is MathStratChat? Well, every Wednesday evening, I throw out a math problem on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, any social media we can find, and people from around the world chat about the strategies they use. About one percent of the time someone uses an algorithm. It's not very interesting, so we focus on the thinking that everyone else is doing. And it's super fun.

Kim:

So, this Wednesday, our math problem was eleven-twelfths minus three-fourths. How would you solve this problem? Pause the podcast, solve it any way you want. The problem was eleven-twelfths minus three-fourths. Solve it, and then come back to hear how we solve it.

Pam:

Alright, I'm going to go first today, Kim. I'm just going to do sort of what I would call a kind of a direct time strategy. I'm going to think about eleven-twelfths. And I'm picturing 11 on a clock. And I know that that's the 55 minute mark.

Kim:

Okay.

Pam:

So, 55 minutes. And then, 3/4 of an hour is 45 minutes. And bam! 55 minutes minus 45 minutes is 10 minutes. And I got to be honest. As I was writing this, I actually wrote 55 divided by 60. Like, "fraction bar" 60. So 55/60 minus 45/60. Even though I only said 55 minutes minus 45 minutes.

Kim:

Yeah.

Pam:

And that's 10/60. And then, I can think about those 10 minutes out of the 60 minutes. And I know that that's one 10 minute chunk out of the six 10 minute chunks, so that's equivalent to one-sixth.

Kim:

Nice.

Pam:

Cool, what did you do?

Kim:

I also thought about time.

Pam:

Okay.

Kim:

But I was kind of picturing the clock maybe a little bit differently. When I saw eleven-twelfths, I kind of looked at where the 11 would be, and I was thinking about those were 5 minute chunks. And so, I guess I kind of thought about 55 minutes, but it was the eleven 5 minute chunks. Does that make sense?

Pam:

Mmhmm.

Kim:

And then, I was thinking about the three-fourths, where three-fourths would be on the clock. And so, that would put me... Like, I kind of pictured a pie to be honest with you. Three-fourths would put me on the nine 5 minute chunks.

Pam:

Mmhmm.

Kim:

So, the minute hand would be on the 9. So, then I thought about 11/12 minus 9/12 would be 2/12, which is equivalent to 1/6.

Pam:

Cool.

Kim:

Yeah.

Pam:

When you got to the 2/12, did you... Oh, sorry. What were you going to say?

Kim:

No, go ahead, go ahead.

Pam:

When you got to two-twelfths. Did you just like... That just screams one-sixth? Or did you think about it in terms of chunks of time?

Kim:

I didn't. It just screamed one-sixth to me.

Pam:

Could you? Could you think about two-twelfths?

Kim:

Two-twelfths... Well, it's kind of like what I said a couple of weeks ago where 2/12 then actually makes me think of 10 minutes out of 60 minutes, which is equivalent to 1/6.

Pam:

Yeah, totally. Cool.

Kim:

Yeah.

Pam:

You were going to say something?

Kim:

No, I don't think so.

Pam:

Nice. Alright.

Kim:

I don't remember what I was going to say. Okay, listeners, we can't wait to hear your math strategy. I wonder if it was like Pam's, or like mine, or something entirely different. Represent your thinking, take a picture of your work or screenshot your phone, and tell the world on social media, so we can see what you were doing. While you're there, check out what other people did and comment on their thinking.

Pam:

Yeah, and what do you do? Tag me on Twitter at @PWHarris. Or Instagram, PamHarris_math. Or Facebook, Pam Harris, author, mathematics education. Or you can also look Math is Figure-Out-Able and use the hashtag MathStratChat. So, make sure you check out our MathStratChat problem every week that we post on Wednesday evenings here in the States in Central Time, and then pop back here to hear how we are thinking about the problem. We love having you as part of the Math is Figure-Out-Able movement, so let's keep spreading the word that Math is Figure-Out-Able!