See if this question makes sense to you. It is taken verbatim from my first-grader's math homework worksheet, with a reference to the California curriculum standard it's designed to meet:

Carrie wants to add 2 + 6. What number should she count on from [sic] to find the sum? Explain why.

I suppose it may mean "if you add by starting with one number and counting from it a number of times equal to the number you are adding, which number would you start with, and why?" That still strikes me as nonsensical, because — among other things — it doesn't matter, and she should be adding two and six without counting by now.

The first grader's homework includes numerical problems and word problems, as I would expect. However, it also includes some of these "explain the theory behind arithmetic operations" questions, which are similarly badly worded.

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