Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Problem Solving Champs

Problem Solving

Tuesday was a session of serious problem solving for those who do maths with Ms Steans.  Many of the children in the class actually did not manage to answer the questions that were provided.... however many got very close!  The persistence shown by all children is worth noting ... I was impressed with their focus!

Team work ... Vivek and Max compare ideas and show persistence to find solutions.

Thinking looks like this ... Minnie, Elizabeth and Nevaeh don't waste any time testing their 

Problem Solver of the Day ... Charlotte! 

Charlotte (who, incidentally, was one of many who did not actually manage to successfully solve any of the problems today) was, without a doubt, our problem solving champion of the day.  How can this be (you may ask) when she didn't manage to find the actual solutions?  

Our learning intention today was indeed to solve problems.  BUT, our 'other' learning intention was to show persistence whilst working ... to have a go and then try and try again.  

Charlotte's work book models (not only beautiful presentation) her ability to come up with an idea, try it out, get it incorrect .. and then try and try again.  Persistence at it's best.  SO proud of you Charlotte!  

Sure, teachers love to see correct answers (when it means you understand what you are doing), but sometimes even more important is to keep going when the going gets challenging.  AND ... teachers also LOVE to see persistence ... to see the trial and error as you try to work out problems.  

So ... don't ever be afraid to get questions wrong ... it's how we learn, and it's how teachers can see what you are doing so we know how to help you solve your problems to achieve success. 

Problem 1
Use the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 (one time each) to find a 3 by 3 digit addition sum, with answer.
Challenge:  Can you find some other solutions (add the to the comments section when you do)?

Congratulations to Amelia H who has already found another solution:
"I found an Answer for Q 1 at maths today ( Wednesday)


So 2 + 5 = 7 then 4 + 9 = 13 (write down 3 because one carries over) then 1 + 1 + 6 = 8"
Amelia H

Brie ... the first to find a solution to this problem.  Super problem solving skills, Brie.

Problem 2
Remove only 2 sticks (from the red combination) to provide an answer that has 2 squares in it.

Max was the first to solve this problem.  Well done, Max!
(It turns out he has a book of similar type problem solving questions at home.) 

Problem 3
Mr Smith is 30 years old.
In 6 years time, he will be three times as old as his son, Sidney.
How old is Sidney now?

(Interestingly, many children found the answer '12', but they forgot to do the final step of taking 6 away from 12 (which was necessary as the question said, 'How old is Sidney now?'

A proud smile from Hannah, who was the only person to solve this problem correctly ... super work, Hannah!
(Two other children also solved the problem, but for some reason they only found the answer by doing the square root of 36, which actually was not the correct strategy.  It may have worked for this question but it would not have been successful for other sums.)


  1. Charlotte has, what we refer to in our family, "Granny Grant Grit"! I'm constantly impressed by her persistence and positivity.

  2. Awesome that persistency is a family trait ... it will take her far!

  3. i love learning new stuff in math class devina

  4. I have got an answer to the problem 1. 8 + 7 = 15 carry the 1, 3 + 6 = 9, 1 + 3 = 4. Olivia B.

  5. I found one of the adding ones:695

  6. WOW your guys have big brains- Alice


  8. Ana-wow so smart 🤓