# Here is how I solved it!

**Understanding the Problem**

First, I read the problem to make sure I understood it. Then I picked out important information. It is a good idea to go through the word problem a few times to find data you might have missed. The data I felt was important is in bold letters.
A fireman **stood on the middle rung** of a ladder, directing water into a burning building. As the smoke lessened, he stepped **up three rungs**. A sudden flare-up forced him to go **down five rungs**. Later he climbed **up seven rungs** and worked there until the fire was out. Then he **climbed the remaining six rungs** to the top of the ladder and entered the building. How many rungs did the whole ladder have?

**Devising a Plan**

I decided the best method to solve the problem would be to make a list of the numbers and add them together. This will tell me how many rungs are above the rung he was standing on.

**Carrying Out the Plan**

**3 + (-5) + 7 + 6 = 11**
If there are eleven rungs above the rung he was standing on there must be eleven below, so I multiplied eleven by two.

**11 * 2 = 22**

**Looking Back**

There is no middle rung to twenty-two and the fireman was standing on the middle rung, so I added one for the rung he was standing on.
**22 + 1 = 23**

**The ladder has 23 rungs.**

Now try a few on your own.

**BACK**

S. A. Hudson: SHUDSON@nmu.edu.