Problem solving

Problem-solving Investigations - Year 1

The problem-solving investigations below match Hamilton’s weekly maths plans. We now also provide Year 1 maths as short blocks. We will eventually be phasing out the plans, as we believe our short blocks offer you all of the same advantages and more, including the integration of the problem-solving investigations into each unit of study. Find out more about the advantages of Hamilton's short blocks.

Supporting documents for set
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Calculating caterpillars

Children make add and subtract 1 and 10 in order to reach targets.

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Cross sums

Children arrange numbers 1 to 5 on a cross to show that the row and column have the same total.  

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Coins in my pockets

Children use clues, and trial and improvement to find different combinations of coins with a total of 20p.

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My new watch

Children use analogue clocks to try out different o’clock and half past times. They find all the possible different times between midnight and midday! 

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Odds and evens

Children use number shapes to find totals of odd and even numbers, to see if they can find any rules. 

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Pairs in purses (1), Calculator capers (2)

Pairs in purses (1): Children use reasoning and logic to work out pairs of 2-digit amounts that can be made in the two purses given only ten coins. Calculator capers (2): Children create teens numbers using place value additions.

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Four towers

Children arrange four towers of cubes such that the difference between neighbouring towers is at least two.  

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Fill the bucket

Children estimate then measure the capacity of a bucket, and play a game filling it.

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Pyramid sums

Children place three numbers in the bottom row of an addition pyramid and see that it is possible to end up with different numbers at the top. 


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10 to 50 challenge

Children find which numbers from 5 to 7 they can add repeatedly to 10 to land exactly on 50.

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Mr Know It All!

Children find out which amounts of money from 10 to 20p can be made using 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p coins, using no more than one of each.