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### Solve this problem in a different way.

I love this one! Kids that have always been good at math are very good at following the algorithms. But not thinking outside of the given method. They often do not like this question at the beginning of the year, but as they get more comfortable, I can see them excel in thinking.
Kids that have struggled in math with the past will find this question a relief. "You mean I can do it my way?" These are the kids that have their system for solving problems but have been told they were wrong because it did not follow the teacher's way.

### Write a story for this question.

So many students will mess up a simple integer subtraction problem like -12 - (-6), but if is say "You owe me \$12, and your dad offers to take away \$6 in debt, How much do you owe me?" They get it right every time.
I want these kids to begin thinking of these situations on their own. Connecting the numbers to the real world is something most students will not do without help.