The Thinking of Students: The Chicken Problem

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  • 1 NCTM's headquarters office, Reston, VA 20191-9988

The problem shown in Figure 1 (Burrill 1998) struck me immediately as one to try with my sixth graders. Before reading further, try to solve the Chicken Problem yourself.


Andy Reeves is particularly interested in algebraic thinking in grades K–8. As part of NCTM's business partnership, he helps Terraset Elementary School in Reston implement the Sunshine Math enrichment program. The author thanks Joanne Yokeley and Katherine Stevens for allowing him to work with their students, and Carol Bradley for her support for the Sunshine Math program. A special thanks goes to Julie O'Keefe, who heads the group of parent volunteers.

Edited by HAMP SHERARD, Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC 29613-1148. This department shares the thinking of middle school students as they explore and communicate mathematics. It will highlight students' work, including projects, investigations, or creative solutions to the problems in the monthly menu. Original student work will be included along with sufficient information about the activity so that readers can try the ideas with their students. Please send manuscripts to “MTMS Departments,” 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-9988.

Contributor Notes

Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School


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