New Jersey sixth graders who were participating in a school fundraiser to help fight childhood cancer could hardly wait to explore this problem from the September 2011 issue, which invites students to work strategically with combinations of numbers. Afterward, their teacher reflected that so many available activities claim to be authentic learning activities but require little in-depth problem solving. This one does.

Contributor Notes

Edited by Drew Polly,, an assistant professor in the Department of Reading and Elementary Education at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Each month, this section of the Problem Solvers department discusses the classroom results of using problems presented in previous issues of Teaching Children Mathematics. Find detailed submission guidelines for all departments at

(Corresponding author is Polly
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