Problem solving

Problem-solving Investigations - Year 3

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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Three coins

Using exactly three coins, children work out how many amounts can be made between £1 and £2.

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Puzzling squares

Children use reasoning skills to solve a number puzzle. They use numbers 0 to 7 to make a total of 10 on each side of a square.

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Twisted subtractions

Children subtract a number which is the reverse of another, e.g. 62 - 26.

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Don't make a triangle

Children play a game for two where strategy and identifying triangles are both crucial.

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Make the multiples

Children draw on their knowledge of multiples of 2 and 5 to create these using digit cards 0 - 9.

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Money bags

Children use their knowledge of counting in 10s to solve a problem involving money.

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Magic 147

Children arrange the ‘nearly numbers’ in a square so that each row and column adds to Magic 147.

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Closest to 100

Following simple rules children find ways to make 100 based on four dice throws. They practise adding four numbers with a total around 100 and use this to find a solution.

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Dodgy digital clock

Children practise reading times on a digital display and work systematically to find out which times won’t show correctly because of a faulty segment on the clock display.

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Mystery age

Children use their knowledge of the 3, 4 and 5 times tables to work out mystery numbers using a series of logical clues.

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Fraction clues

Children use their knowledge of fractions and tables to solve logic puzzles and find mystery numbers.