Honora gave 7 candies each to 4 of her friends. She had 37 candies left. How many candies did Honora have at first?

This is a mixed-operation problem with multiple steps. There are several ways to approach this, but a common mistake might be to subtract from 37 and then divide or multiply. This is often seen when students focus too much on the numbers and not the meaning. This is one way bar models can be very helpful, as it causes a student to pause and think about the meaning of what is happening.

Since this is a part-whole question, a first model

might look something like this:

The student now has both parts, and all that is left is to add them to make the whole and identify the quantity for the question mark:

28 + 37 = 65, so

Honora had 65 candies at first.

Did you or a student of yours solve it a different way? Share the strategy with us!

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