Problem solving

Problem-solving Investigations - Year 2

Problem-solving investigations provide a fun, stimulating context in which children can develop and exercise their ability to reason mathematically and think creatively. They provide extra skills practice and also provide a real challenge if the skill itself is proving undemanding for some children.

These problems  are designed to help children identify patterns, explore lines of thinking and investigate properties of numbers, shapes and measures. They can be used alongside the Hamilton plan for the week or independently. The teacher instructions for the whole term are collated in the Overview. Ruth's Advice gives some background and tips for using these investigations with your pupils.

Supporting documents for set
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Racing riddles (1), Near and far (2)

Racing riddles (1): Children discuss the positions of four dogs in a set of four races using the information given. They attempt to use mathematical reasoning to answer questions and complete a table of results. Near and far (2): Children use four digit cards to make a pair of numbers far away from each other on the number line, and the same four digit cards to make a pair of numbers close to each other.

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Lines of numbers

Children create sequences based on Fibonacci and explore patterns of odd and even numbers, making connections with general statements about addition.

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Cross additions

Using number facts including pairs to 10 children find totals of five numbers less than 10 to give different totals.

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Coin trios

Children make amounts of money using three coins, speculating whether larger amounts of money can be made in more ways or not.

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Ten to the kilo

Children use estimation and accurate measurement skills to find exactly ten items which weigh precisely one kilogram.

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Multiple madness

Children arrange digit cards to form multiples of 2, 5 and 10 and explore different possibilities.

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Mrs Multiple's cakes

Children arrange ‘cakes’ in arrays and find which numbers between 10 and 20 can be arranged in most ways.

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Mystery potion

Children use clues to work out ingredients for a ‘magical’ potion for mathematical powers.

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Jack's amazing beanstalk

Children double numbers and add to a running total, and then look for patterns to predict how much a beanstalk will grow each day.

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Frog's busy day

Children look for numbers which have a difference of 5 using Frog to help.

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Pink or blue?

Children explore the number of quarter past and quarter to times in a day by looking at the two sides of the clock.