First Grader’s Math Problem Stumps The Internet


If most adults were thrown back into primary education the way it exists today, we probably wouldn’t make it too far. The skills elementary school children are learning may be the basic foundation upon which everything we subsequently learned has been built, but the way they’re sometimes taught is confusing, to say the least.

A math problem shared by the friend of a parent of a first grader has been making the rounds on Twitter after it stumped all the adults involved in real life.

“My friend just sent me this pic of his 1st grader’s math workbook and neither he nor I have even the tiniest clue what the kid is supposed to do here,” admitted writer Helen Rosner.

The “math problem” in question, which doesn’t look anything like a math problem to me, shows a picture of a basket with fruit and a picture of a basket without fruit. It asks the solver to “use math drawings to make the pictures equal.”

It seems likely that we can assume the kid needs to show how to get from two bananas and three oranges to no bananas and no oranges, but the set-up makes it fairly unclear how exactly that is expected to happen.

And unfortunately for Rosner and her friend, the internet is pretty stumped as well.

Though some folks offered up a few suggestions, the best that they could.

And other frustrated parents shared examples of confusing math problems their own kids were facing.

Ultimately, Rosner and her friend concluded that “math drawings” were in reference to the fruit, though that seems to be as far as they got.

Adulting may be a particular kind of nightmare, especially in 2020, but after staring at this “equation,” never having to relearn math sounds like it might be a fair trade.