
Since one table has three sides and each seats one child, it follows that 3 children can sit around 1 table.
When two tables are put together in a row as pictured, then we can count the number of open sides around the perimeter of the two tables together, since an open side means one child can sit there. There are 4 sides that are open around the table, and so 4 children can sit around a row of 2 tables.
Using the same method as above, we see that when 3 tables are put into a row we will have 5 open sides around the tables. So, 5 children can sit around a row of 3 tables.
To find an expression that describes the number of children that can sit around a row of $n$ tables, we can consider the diagram below. We see that we can fit 1 child at each horizontal table side (black dots) plus 1 child on the left and one on the right (white dots). So we have:
$$
\text{children that can sit at } n \text{ tables} = n + 1 + 1 = n + 2
$$
Another way to think about counting seats is shown in the picture below. The first table seats two children and the last table seats two children (white dots). All other $n  2$ tables seat one child (black dots). So we have:
$$
\text{children that can sit at } n \text{ tables} = 2 \cdot 2 + (n  2) \cdot 1 = 4 + (n  2).
$$
Other expressions are also possible, which are all equivalent to $n + 2$.

Using our expression from part (b), with $n=125$, we see that
$$n + 2 = 125 + 2 = 127,$$
so 127 children can sit around a row of 125 tables.
Using our expression from before we know that a row of $n$ tables seats $n + 2$ children. If we want to seat 26 children we need to find n such that $n + 2 = 26$. So we have $n = 24$, which means that the teacher needs 24 tables to seat all students in the class.
Comments
Log in to commentalio73 says:
about 6 yearsThere is a typo under Commentary. It states "This taks ..." and should probably be "This task..."
Brigitte says:
about 6 yearsThank you. I fixed the typo.
alio73 says:
about 6 yearsremoved
lizyockey says:
over 6 yearsIsn't the answer to C that there is not room enough to have a row of 125 tables in any classroom? Where do these tables exist? Are they on a football field? This might be a good time to have a discussion about domain (without necessarily naming it as domain). I worry that when we give "real world" situations but blend them with impossible questions, we are shutting kids down from reasoning about their answers. Just getting a numeric answer and stopping there doesn't constitute problem solving.
Wendy Gibson says:
about 5 yearsWell stated. Let's think about realistic situations, and the suggestion of 125 tables in a row wouldn't be possible in any building.
Bill says:
over 6 yearsLiz, I've reworded the problem slightly, and added your point about domain to the comments. Does this make it better?
Bill McCallum