With English as a Second Language students it is well known that known how to do mathematics is only half the battle; the other half is understanding what problems mean in the first place.
It’s generally assumed that vocabulary is the central problem, and when the gaps are filled in the students will be fine.
[Released item from the 2006 AIMS Math test.]
Neither the mathematics nor the vocabulary are issues here. Yet I had students do poorly, because they could not understand what the question is asking.
How would you handle teaching (the reading of) this question? This is at the fringes of my ability; while I can get the students to figure out vocabulary from context or wade through academic language, I couldn’t find a good way to lead students to the answer here.