Box of Chocolates Math Stumper With Solution

Problem-solving for young learners is great for supporting deductive reasoning, logic, inductive reasoning, inferring, working backward, and stimulating higher level thinking.  Here's a problem that will get students' thought juices flowing.

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The Box of Chocolates Stumper

A decadent box of chocolates adorned the kitchen counter. When Jake saw it, he ate 1/6 of the box. Then along came Joe and he ate 1/5 of what Jake left. Along came Jill who ate 1/4 of the chocolates that remained. Later that day, Jeff ate 1/3 of the remaining chocolates. By the time I got there, I managed to eat 1/2 of what remained. When my sister Sandy came along, only 4 chocolates remained in the box.

Just how many chocolates did Jake manage to eat? The solution follows.

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Solution to the Box of Chocolates

The answer to the box of chocolates' math stumper is: 4

Before Jake ate any of the chocolates, there were 24. He ate 1/6 of 24, which means he ate 4 and left 20. Joe ate 1/5 of 20, which means he ate 4, which left 16. Jill ate 1/4, meaning she ate 4, which left 12. Then Jeff ate 1/3 of 12, which means he ate 4, leaving 8. Then I came and ate 1/2 of the 8 remaining, which means I ate 4 and left 4.