I chose to write about this problem because I love it! I love:

- the variety of possible solution methods: arithmetic, algebraic, pictorial, mathematical, and representational;
- the humor inherent in the problem;
- the potential fun for students and their joy in working it out;
- the gender switch on Farmer Montague;
- seeing the different ways students draw the chickens and goats;
- being surprised at who solves the problem and how;
- seeing the light come on in students’ eyes when they arrive at the solution.

This problem pushes students to think outside the box. It is non-discriminatory in that I can, have, and did give this and a similar problem to students learning at the most basic level and those taking the HSE exam in the same week.

Continue reading how Daphne Carter McKnight used The Goats and Chickens Problem in class »