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Work Backwards

Problem Solving Strategy

Work Backwards
Working backwards is another strategy that requires you to change your focus. Youll consider the whole problem in reverse. Once you reach a solution, check it by working it forward from your solution to make sure it indeed reaches the desired solution. Consider planning a vacation to Europe. Once you find a flight, you need to work backwards to plan the beginning of your tripwhen do you need to arrive at the airport and then when must you leave your house to arrive at the airport at that time, etc. Many problems that can be solved by working backwards can also be solved using guess and check. But, when there is a way to work backwards, it is more efficient to do so. If it is hard to figure out how to begin a problem with the working backwards strategy, use guess and check to find a place to start and then work backwards.

Strategy:

Work Backwards

Write out the steps in order. Work from the end to the beginning. Draw diagrams as needed. Perhaps act it out. Use algebra or other tools to get from one step to the previous one. Check from the beginning to the end.

How many M&Ms ?

After dinner, three friends leaving a restaurant noticed a bowl of M&Ms on the front counter. Steven took one-fourth of the M&Ms but returned four because he had a momentary pang of guilt. Aakash then took one-third of what was left but returned three for similar reasons. Eugene then took half the remainder but threw two green ones back. The bowl had only 17 M&Ms left after the boys helped themselves. How many mints were originally in the bowl?

Write down the story steps in order

Begin. Steven took 1/3 of the M&Ms. Steven returned 4. Aakash took 1/4 of what was left. Aakash returned 3. Eugene took half the remainder. Eugene threw 2 back. The bowl had 17 M&Ms left.

Work backwards from the end to the beginning.

Bowl is full. Steven took 1/3 of the M&Ms. Steven returned 4. Aakash took 1/4 of what was left. Aakash returned 3. Eugene took half the remainder. Eugene threw 2 back. The bowl had 17 M&Ms left. 48 in the bowl !

Check from beginning to end.

Bowl is full. Steven took 1/3 of the M&Ms. Steven returned 4. Aakash took 1/4 of what was left. Aakash returned 3. Eugene took half the remainder. Eugene threw 2 back. The bowl had 17 M&Ms left.

48 in the bowl
48 16 32 + 4 36 9 27 + 3 30 15 15 + 2

17 it works!

Open your problem solving book and go to the section on Work Backwards (page 27). Print off a problem solving sheet and do a complete solution to a problem from this sectiondo one and submit it or do more for extra fun. (Dad's Wallet and the ATM, Crossing the River,
and/or Golf Clubs )

Email your complete solution, with your steps clearly shown to NCAMath@district87.org or put them in Nancy Powells mail box! Have fun and Problem Solve!

Jack walked from Santa Clara to Palo Alto. It took 1 hour 25 minutes to walk from Santa Clara to Los Altos. Then it took 25 minutes to walk from Los Altos to Palo Alto. He arrived in Palo Alto at 2:45 P.M. At what time did he leave Santa Clara?

Joe forgot to check how much money he began the day with. During the day, he spent \$8.00 on breakfast, withdrew \$40.00 from the ATM, got his dry cleaning for \$12.00, bought 5 shirts for \$22.00 a piece (plus 8% sales tax). At the end of the day, he had \$100.00, how much did he start the day with?

Joe gives Nick and Tom as many peanuts as each already has. Then Nick gives Joe and Tom as many peanuts as each of them then has. Finally, Tom gives Nick and Joe as many peanuts as each has. If at the end each has sixteen peanuts, how many peanuts did each have at the beginning?

The grid represents a section of town with only 2-way streets. You want to go from point A to point B without backtracking. How many different routes are possible? (You can only go north or east at each intersection.)

After Melody returned from shopping, she had \$4.00. She had spent \$5.25 for lunch and \$13.75 on a new music CD. How much money did she have when she began her shopping trip?

Rujukan .

http://www.mathstories.com/strategies_working_ backward.htm

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Work Backwards
Problem Solving Strategy

Owner : Siti Zulaikha binti Abdu Rahim Farahatun Nailah binti Mansor