Welcome to OLENA Math

Olena and Snoops

Over the summer, Olena made up a game. This game is not based on baseball in any way shape or form. We jokingly called it Olenaball. Yes, there are bases. Yes, there’s a baseball and a bat. That’s about all it has in common with the sport.

Lately, Miss Olena has gone on a rant regarding lunches. She just can’t seem to grasp the fact that she has to buy lunch when she wants it AND if she goes over, she not only has to cover the debt but she still has to buy lunch. Enter her crack math skills.

Which I have now dubbed OLENA math,.

Now, just like most second graders in NY she is learning Common Core math. Which means, we’re learning it too.

Today she got a note from the cafeteria saying she owed 80 cents and walked over to me to explain this while holding a dollar in her hand.

“Wait, Olena, if you owe 80 cents and you have a dollar, which is 100 cents, how much do you have left over?”

“Why, this dollar is extra.”

“OK, well, work with me here. Let’s figure this out. IF you owe 80 cents, and you have 100 cents — your dollar — and you give it to the lunch lady, how much will she give you back?”

“They don’t give us money back.”


“OK, saying they DO give it back to you, how much will you have?”

“20 cents? I think…”

“OK good.”

“But I want ice cream…”

(hold it together mom)

“OK, so the lunch lady gives you 20 cents back and you want to buy ice cream for 50 cents…”

“I want the 75 cent one.”

(Face palm)

“Let’s just go with 50 now. So, you have 20 cents, and the ice cream is 50 cents, how much do you need to get the ice cream?”

…total blank stare…

“I, um, 2?”

“You’re not in line now. Get some paper and map it out.”

Finally, she gets out paper. Maps it out. Get’s 30 cents.

“Now, say you have the 20 cents and you DO want the 75 cent ice cream, how much do you need?”


WHAT?!! No, map it out.

(Mapping continues with blocks, pie charts, pullies, counting on fingers, etc.)

“I would need, 32”

Oh boy…

I apologize in advance to the lunch crew. We finally got it but we had to map it out together. Someday she will get this or she will just hit up her sister for that 11 cents.

Until next time.


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