Math is Figure-Out-Able with Pam Harris

#MathStratChat - January 10, 2023

January 10, 2024 Pam Harris
Math is Figure-Out-Able with Pam Harris
#MathStratChat - January 10, 2023
Show Notes Transcript

In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 10, 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.

Twitter: @PWHarris

Instagram: Pam Harris_math

Facebook: Pam Harris, author, mathematics education

Want more? Check out the archive of all of our #MathStratChat posts!

Pam  00:00

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


Kim  00:07

And I'm Kim.


Pam  00:08

And it's short because this is a MathStratChat episode, where we chat about our math strategies. Every Wednesday evening, I throw out a math problem on social media, and people from around the world chat about the strategies they use and comment on each other's thinking. Which, to be clear, is the best part when ya'll comment on each other's thinking. 


Kim  00:25

Oh, for sure.


Pam  00:26

We love that. 


Kim  00:26

Yeah, I mean, we comment on what people are doing. But when they comment on each other's? That's super cool. When they say, "I did that too!" Alright, so this week, our math problem was two-eighths times four-fifths. How would you solve this problem? Pause the podcast. Solve before you listen. The problem is two-eighths times four-fifths. Solve it, and then come on back to how here we're going to... How? Mmm. Just listen.


Pam  00:54

How's it going? There we go. Just listen. Just do it. Just do it. Alright, Kim, you go first. 


Kim  00:59



Pam  01:00

Two-eighths. The fraction two-eighths times the fraction four-fifths.


Kim  01:03

Alright, I like this one because two-eighths is one-fourth. And one-fourth of four-fifths. One-fourth of 4 anything's is just one of them. So, one-fourth of four-fifths is just one-fifth.


Pam  01:21

Nice. And it's funny, I wrote one-fourth. I'm not sure why. But I'll fix that now. 


Kim  01:24

Lots the fours.


Pam  01:25

Yeah, as you said it. You literally said one-fourth, and I wrote one-fourth. And I was like, "No." I had to like, "Let's fix that." Okay, so...


Kim  01:34

Oh, I'm so mad now! 


Pam  01:36

Did you want to do something else? 


Kim  01:37

Well... No, maybe I'll do it another time.


Pam  01:43

Well, I don't know what I think about this, but I'm going to... So, I agree with you that two-eighths is one-fourth, is equivalent to one-fourth. So, one-fourth of four-fifths. I was going to think about a fourth, one-fourth, as a half of a half. 


Kim  01:59



Pam  02:00

So, a half of four-fifths. One-half of four-fifths. If I had 4 things, four-fifths, one-half of that would be two-fifths. 


Kim  02:09



Pam  02:10

But I need a half of that because I'm finding a fourth. And fourth is half of a half. So, a half of two-fifths would be one-fifth. That would be another way of thinking about it. What was your other? The thing that you wish you would have done? Were you thinking percentages? 


Kim  02:22

I was. I was. I'll do it another time. 


Pam  02:25

You don't want to do percentages now?


Kim  02:26

I can if you want me to, but.


Pam  02:28

Well, were you... Now, I'm super curious. Were you thinking 80%? Like, four-fifths?


Kim  02:34

Yeah, I was thinking a fourth of 80%, which is 20%. 


Pam  02:37

Oh, that's interesting. I was going to say 80% of a fourth. But okay.


Kim  02:42

80% of a fourth.


Pam  02:44

Yeah, and you just... When you said percent...


Kim  02:47

Wait, wait, wait. 80% of a fourth? 


Pam  02:48

(unclear) Is that right? 


Kim  02:50

I don't know. Is that right? (unclear).


Pam  02:51

Well, because then you said you would think of 1/4 of 80%. 


Kim  02:54

Yeah, yeah.


Pam  02:55

And I had just written 80% of 1/4. (unclear)


Kim  02:57

Do you like that better?


Pam  02:59

No! I like yours way better.


Kim  03:02

(unclear) That's why I was like, "Oh, I guess." It's possible. 


Pam  03:05

Especially if you think of 1/4 as like 25. 0.25. 80% of that. Yuck. No, but a fourth of 80%.


Kim  03:11

A fourth of 80%. Yeah.


Pam  03:13

Is what? 20%. And that's equivalent to the one-fifth that we had found. Nice. 


Kim  03:16



Pam  03:17



Kim  03:18

Cool. Alright, everyone, we can't wait to see what you are thinking. And we mean it! Share your strategy! Represent your thinking! And while you share it with us, tell the world on social media that you love MathStratChat.


Pam  03:30

And you might be thinking, "Why do they always tell us to post our strategies?" So, ya'll, one of the reasons is when you commit, and you actually post your strategy, A, your brain will get more ingrained. You'll feel that strategy more. You'll get that track in your brain, will be a little bit more well traveled. But secondly, it will help us spread the Math is Figure-Out-Able movement. Because the more people that will post with MathStratChat, the more the world sees people chatting about their strategies, the more we can get more people saying, "Hey, what's happening there? That's interesting." And we can open the door to mathematics, to more and more people, which we like to do. (unclear).


Kim  04:08

And I'm not going to lie.


Pam  04:09

Oh. Yeah? 


Kim  04:10

I much prefer seeing people who have taken a picture of their hand written work. 


Pam  04:15

Yeah, that's fun.


Kim  04:15

It's super fun. I mean, you can type it. But if you want to be cool, take a picture of what you're writing.


Pam  04:22

And while you're there, tag me, and use the hashtag MathStratChat. And then, check out the MathStratChat problem that we'll post every Wednesday around 7pm Central Time. And come back here, and we'll tell you how we're thinking about the problem. We love having you as part of the Math is Figure-Out-Able movement. Let's keep spreading the word that Math is Figure-Out-Able!