We feel like we can never have enough examples of math in real-world situations. They help keep skills sharp and make sure that we can handle whatever comes our way. This week’s word problems do just that in what we call a “mathematical mixed bag.”

Look below and choose the word problem that’s the right skill level for your child. Have them give it a try. And when they feel they’ve found the answer, check their solution against ours on the next page.

# Questions

**Lower Elementary:**

*Question:*An octopus lives in an underwater garden shaped like a rectangle. The fence around the garden is 7 feet on the long sides and 5 feet on the short sides. Draw a picture of the garden on graph paper. How many 1-foot squares are in the octopus’s garden, and how many feet of fence go around it?

**Upper Elementary:**

*Question:*John has a manuscript that is 1,040 pages long. If it took him 2 years to write, then how many pages did John write per week on average?

(Hint: There are 52 weeks in a year.)

**Middle School:**

*Question*

*:*A blackbird starts singing in the middle of the night, exactly between sunset and sunrise. If the sun sets at 5:37 p.m. and rises at 6:47 a.m., then at what time of night does the blackbird sing?

**Algebra and Up:**

*Question:*There is a hole in Paul’s ceiling where rain drips in at a rate of 15 milliliters per minute. As Paul fixes the hole, the rain that gets through decreases linearly. It takes him 2 minutes and 36 seconds to complete the task. How much rain gets in as Paul fixes the hole?

(Hint: Graph the decreasing rate of dripping rain in terms of time. What shape is formed under the graph?)