Thinking about solutions and solution methods - February 2011, Stage 1&2

This month we explore different ways of solving particular problems. Good problem solvers often reflect on their methods once they have constructed a solution. Is one method best? Most efficient? Most elegant? Would you use an alternative method of solution given the benefit of hindsight?

Problems

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Cuisenaire Counting

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?

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Largest Even

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How would you create the largest possible two-digit even number from the digit I've given you and one of your choice?

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Rolling That Cube

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

My cube has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has taken? What does each face look like?

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Tea Cups

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.

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Curious Number

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you order the digits from 1-6 to make a number which is divisible by 6 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 5-figure number divisible by 5, and so on?

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Chocolate

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

There are three tables in a room with blocks of chocolate on each. Where would be the best place for each child in the class to sit if they came in one at a time?

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Inky Cube

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?