Sometimes students can conceptualize a problem more easily when the numbers are removed. Try it with this problem: Leroy paid a total of $23.95 for a pair of pants. That included the sales tax of 6%. What was the price of the pants before the sales tax?

A reading of this problem without the numbers might be something like this: Leroy bought some pants. The sales tax was included in total price. How much did the pants cost before the tax? Then a student might say “I see that we need to subtract!”

## Strategy 5: The "No Numbers" Strategy

Sometimes students can conceptualize a problem more easily when the numbers are removed. Try it with this problem:

Leroy paid a total of $23.95 for a pair of pants. That included the sales tax of 6%. What was the price of the pants before the sales tax?A reading of this problem without the numbers might be something like this:

Leroy bought some pants. The sales tax was included in total price. How much did the pants cost before the tax?Then a student might say “I see that we need to subtract!”