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
  • Week
  • Title
  • Download
+ Details
Guess my number

Children use their knowledge of three-digit numbers, rounding and properties of numbers to work out a mystery number.  

+ Details
Age guessing trick

Children subtract numbers within the same century and use this calculation to guess a friend’s age.

+ Details
18 times table - wow!

Children use the grid method to work out the 18 times table and look for patterns in the answers.

+ Details
Litre challenge

Children use their knowledge of litres and millilitres to help them solve a logic puzzle.

+ Details
Step change

Children find change from two or three notes.  They explore patterns in the pence and try to explain the reason for their answers.

+ Details
Dog chews

Children find a multiple of 50 and a multiple for 4 with a given total. They work systematically to find all possibilities.

+ Details
Threes and fours

Children explore multiples of 3 and 4 to find divisibility patterns. 

+ Details
My square, not yours!

Children draw a succession of perpendicular and parallel lines to create squares. They start to make predictions and test them out.

+ Details
Greedy guzzler

Children explore which is more, ½, 2/3, ¾, etc. of a set amount. They also fold strips to look at the fractions.    

+ Details
Mobile towers

Children create 4 or 5 two-digit numbers and add these to get different totals.   

+ Details
Yuk or yum!

Children find all possible food combinations from given lists and then decide which are ‘yuk’ and which are ‘yum’!