Using a real life problem to reach the solution, imagine you have 6 index cards and one group of 1 girl and 2 boys. Your instructions are to first get rid of half of the cards, then give one card to each child, then tell each child to tear their card into 3 pieces.

You now have 9 pieces, so the answer is 9.

And who is to say which "real life problem" is the correct one? Nobody. We can always invent a word problem to fit whatever arithmetic steps we want.

(and, yes, it's been 8 months, so probably nobody will ever read what I wrote...)

Using a real life problem to reach the solution, imagine you have 6 index cards and one group of 1 girl and 2 boys. Your instructions are to first get rid of half of the cards, then give one card to each child, then tell each child to tear their card into 3 pieces.

You now have 9 pieces, so the answer is 9.

And who is to say which "real life problem" is the correct one? Nobody. We can always invent a word problem to fit whatever arithmetic steps we want.

(and, yes, it's been 8 months, so probably nobody will ever read what I wrote...)