Is this alarming? Er... yes.
Unless you consider what was asked immediately beforehand.
1) Firstly, the brilliant Mr. Stokes had timed how long the class took to get all the materials handed out."Thirty-two seconds: new record!" he said. I asked the students to write this number down.
2) I showed students this and asked them write down the number it represents.
So for this student, the first three answers were:
At this point, the student then said "Oh! I see the pattern!" But I sort of ignored this and asked the students to write a number between 12 and 20. When I saw the 95 I was a bit alarmed until I asked the student to explain her thinking:
It is so important that we create opportunities so that we can listen to what students are actually thinking (as described in a previous post Why We Need To Listen (1)). Just a quick conversation revealed that the student's answer isn't so alarming as, really, she answered the wrong question.
In fact, I am left with the thought that she is actually pretty good at spotting patterns!