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Mrs Chong bought some sweets for her students in her class. If she gives 6 sweets each, she would have 4 sweets left.  If she gives 9 sweets each, she would need 32 more sweets. How many students are there in her class?


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I tried to solve it on my own and the answer came out as 12, now I don’t know is it right or not.

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Mrs Chong will use up those 4 sweets leftover and “conjure up” 32 more sweets “from the air” to enable her to give each student 3 more sweets (from 6 pcs each to 9 pcs each).

(4+32)/3 = 12 students#

Make it all fun for kids.  🙂

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Ya I will explain using this as well.

Or ask them to memorise this

extra and short must plus and divide

extra and extra or short and short means must minus and divide

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I just can’t grasp this simple and elegant method taught in primary school.

I used brute force method to teach my son. More work intensive and time consuming.   🙂 

qty of sweet =

6u + 4 = 9u – 32

Solve for u…   

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Guess by 18yo, your DS is all ready for NS training compared to his peers under your “brute force”. 🙂

My way to my little audience at home* –> I tell DC that I am too lazy to take back all those sweets already distributed (6pcs each). So to give each student 3 pcs more (9-6=3), I will need to grab those 4 pcs leftover and use my “Elder wand” to get the 32 pcs that I am short of, put all in a bag (4+32), then give each student 3 pcs more (divide by 3) until I have no more on hand.

Most times, when talk about less work, more food, pizza, sweets and Harry Potter etc, my audience at home can get the Maths working. I think DDs would appreciate more “elegance” than “brute force”.

*Actually this is the common excess/shortage method. But I avoid to quote it as “excess/shortage” with formula while teaching my kids but always fall back to basic understanding of scenario.

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Thanks… I got the concept now.. Yah it better to teach them early to understand  the mechanism behind the excess and shortage. But not easy to explain.

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number of students x 6 + 4 ——- number of students x 9 – 32
3 x number of students ——- 4 + 32 = 36
number of students ——- 36/3 = 12

Ans : 12 students.

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