Miss Dean’s moped went 48 miles on 3/8 gallon of gas. How many miles would the moped go on one gallon of gas?
A typical response would be to multiply 48 by 3/8, which equals 18, rather than dividing by 3/8.
Students use superficial cues or irrelevant information to choose operations. (See encyclopedia entry Choosing Operations in Modeling) This problem can be used to investigate how students are choosing operations for word problems, how students conceive of operations, and student’s ability to connect operations to contextualized situations.