A carpenter has a board 200 inches long and 12 inches wide. He makes 4 identical shelves and still has a piece of board 36 inches long leftover. How long is each shelf?
There is not a common response, rather students tend to try multiple methods and generally become lost in the process.
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.