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Plenty of Pens

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Plenty of Pens


Amy went into her local stationery shop. Her mum had given her £$2.50$ to spend.

Amy liked the look of some luminous pens and fancy pencils.

pens 15p, pencils 10p

She bought four times as many pens as pencils and was given $40$p change.

How many of each did she buy?


Why do this problem?

This problem can be approached in several different ways (by randomly trying numbers, working in a systematic way to try numbers, making a table) and could be a nice way of introducing algebra.

Key questions

What do we know?
What could we try first?
How many pencils might she have bought? How many pens would that mean she'd bought?
What could we try next?

Possible extension

Learners could try Buckets of Thinking which involves similar mathematics.

Possible support

Using real pencils and pens may help children keep track of what they have tried.