This is open ended problem gives students the task of helping Emily and Eduardo plan their Valentine's Day party. It includes 2 different problems. The first 3 pages are the higher level problem and pages 4-6 are a very similar problem designed for your lower level students using easier numbers and less choices.
In the original problem (pages 1-3) students are given 4 treats or decorations to purchase. There is a table that tell students how they can purchase the supplies- small, medium, large packs. For example, students much purchase exactly 32 Valentines. They need to use their division skills to decide which size packs to purchase. The problem is open ended because there is more than one possible answer. There is a student friendly table for children to fill in equations that represent the supplies they're buying. Then they must use their multiplication skills to figure out the cost of the supplies.
The third page asks students to figure out the cost of the party and to go back and see if they could save money by purchasing a different sized pack. It also asks students to write a math reflection to Emily and Eduardo about what they did to solve the problem.
Pages 4-6 are very similar but slightly edited to be accessible to your struggling math students.
This is best done allowing students to work in partnerships and discuss what they're doing while they solve this complicated problem. It requires them to use not only their math skills but their critical thinking skills as well.