“18 is the power of 3 after 9.”

I made this mistake in my own math work several times today in the midst on working on some other problems. I’m happy to answer any questions anyone has about my thought process in the comments.

This one is really interesting. We’ve got both a sample of student work, and on the left the student has crossed out $\frac{5}{1}$. We also have a record of the following student question:

Kid: [Raises hand.]

Teacher: “What’s up?”

Kid: “Are you looking for a 1 or, like, the number 1?”

What is the student’s question, and what does it reflect about what he knows and thinks? How would you help?

[The submission also comes with an answer, yielded by the teacher through further questioning, revealed in the comments.]