Mother-May-I-Math

Lizzie is baby-sitting her little sister Mary and Mary's friends Terri, Sheri, and Kerry. They are playing Mother-May-I. In this game each player asks, "Mother, may I take (1, 2, 3, or 4) of (some type of) steps forward?" The leader, Lizzie, says, "Yes, you may," or "No, you may not."

If the leader answers, "No, you may not," the player stays in the same place. If the player forgets to say, "Mother, may I," she has to go backward by the number of steps she asked for. There are baby steps, hops, and giant steps forward or backward from the starting line. A baby step is 6 inches, a hop is 1 foot, and a giant step is 2 feet.

In the list below:

One asterisk (*) marks those turns in which the leader said "no."

Two asterisks (**) mark those turns in which the player forgot to say, "Mother, may I?"

After 6 turns:

Mary has asked for 3 baby steps, 2* hops, 1 giant step, 1 baby step, 4 hops, and 1** giant step.

Terri has asked for 2 baby steps, 1** hop, 1 giant step, 1* baby step, 4 baby steps, and 2 hops.

Sheri has asked for 3 hops, 1 giant step, 1* baby step, 4* hops, 1 baby step, and 2 hops.

Kerry has asked for 3** hops, 4 hops, 1 giant step, 1* baby step, 4 hops, and 1 giant step.

Who is closest to the finish line?

Hint: Make number lines.

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