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Sorting the Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

More Carroll Diagrams


Can you put the numbers in the correct place in this Carroll diagram?

You can try out your ideas using the interactivity, or you could print off this sheet for the first diagram and this for the second.

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Now have a look at this Carroll diagram. This time, the idea is to fill in the labels for the rows and columns.

You could use the interactivity, or print off this sheet to complete.

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Why do this problem?

This problem gives children a way of sorting numbers according to different properties and also forces them consider more than one aspect at once. It also provides opportunities for children to explain their placing of the numbers, using appropriate language.


Possible approach

There are two aspects to this problem: Firstly, it focuses on sorting numbers according to certain properties and secondly, it requires a knowledge of how a Carroll diagram works. If your class has not had much experience of Carroll diagrams, it might be useful to look at the problem Carroll Diagrams which also has suggestions in the notes of how you could go about introducing the relevant ideas.

This problem offers more of a challenge in that children are asked to identify the criteria by which the numbers have been sorted. Encourage them to talk to each other about how they might work out the labels for each row and column. There are many different approaches and sharing some of their ideas with the whole group would be beneficial. Try to focus on the clarity of their arguments, thereby encouraging well-reasoned solutions.

Alan Parr, who has contributed many great ideas to NRICH, has sent in this Word document of further Carroll diagram sorting activities which you may like to use as follow-up to this problem.

Key questions

Do you think that the number "5" is between 5 and 15 or not?
What can you say about the numbers is this box that is different from the numbers in that box?


Possible extension

Learners could go on to using these sheets given above as a follow-up, especially that last four questions.


Possible support

Children could start with the simpler Carroll Diagrams problem.