That First-Grade Math Problem That Went Viral…

After a North Carolina family posted a first-grade math problem on Facebook challenging friends to figure out how to solve the problem, Fox News Insider highlights the post noting that “adults react with consternation to a new brain-teaser.”

Yet this piece (and others sharing the family’s Facebook post) neglects to mention that the family was not outraged by this math problem. When they shared the piece, the Holderness family explained:

“FYI, this was the final page on a 7 page sheet, the previous 6 pages were a much more normal level for a first grader. I don’t think the teacher expects everyone to get this, I think it was meant to be a problem that would challenge the children, so for that reason I think it’s great that our school included it!”


As we’ve noted before, math under the Common Core challenges students to move beyond memorization to build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

For parents, Like the Holderness family, who are looking to help their students build their math muscles, there are several resources available to help demystify math homework, including Be a Learning Hero’s Readiness Roadmap, the Council of Great City Schools’ Parent Roadmaps and Great Minds’ Homework Helpers. Talk with your child’s teacher about how you can help support your, and your child’s, learning.