Michael is making houses out of sticks. Each house needs five sticks. He has 15 sticks. How many houses can he make?
The question is asking us how many houses Michael can make with 15 sticks if each house needs five sticks. Michael is using a number line to help him find the answer. He started at 15 on the number line, and then he counted back five. He took away five because he’d used five sticks to make one house. Then, he started at number 10 on the number line, and counted back another five because he used five sticks to make a second house.
If Michael starts at number five and counts back another five, that will take him to zero. This means that Michael can make one more house. Michael started with 15 sticks, and he took away five three times. If Michael has 15 sticks and each house needs five sticks, he can make three houses.