One of the workers in the jam factory mixed one barrel of jam containing 14% sugar with another barrel of jam containing 30% sugar. The new
mixture weighs 80 kilograms and contains 20% sugar. How much jam was in the ﬁrst barrel? How much was in the second barrel?
Many students’ difficulties stem from being unable to chunk and label information. When presenting these problems, asks students to first translate the information into a table with labeled columns/rows. Common difficulties with this task include:
-Being too vague with labels (e.g. labeling a column “amount")
-Mislabeling (e.g. labeling a column “mixture” but filling in values that correspond to kilograms of sugar)
Students who are able to make categorical self-explanations while translating an algebra word problem into a table are more successful at finding a correct solution to the problem. A categorical self-explanation for this type of problem is the act of naming the rows and/or columns in a table. These problems can be used to assess how students are categorizing and processing information from word problems.