Bike.George ErwsIt’s a great time of year to get out and about! To travel to beaches and amusement parks, or even just take a bike ride and visit some friends around town. Summer wandering provides a great opportunity to practice some elementary math skills such as plotting distances on a coordinate plane. Grab some graph paper and take a shot at solving this week’s word problem challenge.

Question: Chloe gets on her bike at home and rides 2 miles north to the post office. From there, she rides 3 miles west to the library. Then, she rides 4 miles south to the park, then 5 miles east to the farmer’s market. Finally, Chloe rides her bike 2 miles north to her friend Daniel’s house. How far away is Daniel’s house from Chloe’s house? In what direction?

Take your time with this one. We know you can do it! When you’re ready, check below for the solution.

Solution: Instead of trying to solve this mentally, use a coordinate plane and put Chloe’s house on the origin. The post office is at (0, 2). The library is at (–3, 2). The park is at (–3, –2). The farmer’s market is at (2, –2). Finally, Daniel’s house is at (2, 0), which is 2 miles to the right, or east, of Chloe’s house.