Why do this problem?
This activity was initially developed for Wild Maths
, our sister site, to encourage learners to be creative mathematicians. Mathematics is certainly a creative subject. It involves spotting patterns, making connections, finding new ways of looking at things and using what you already know in new contexts. Creative mathematicians play around with
examples, draw pictures, have the courage to experiment and ask good questions. (Wild Maths is aimed at individual learners, rather than teachers so the notes below only appear on NRICH.)
How you approach this depends so much on the experience, knowledge and skills of your pupils. You could focus on designs, patterns, decribing shapes, fractions, area and making conjectures, for example.
Tell me about your way of arranging the two halves.
What are you counting?
What do you notice?
What do you think you might do next?
Use quarters within the halves within the whole.
Some pupils may need physical help if their fine motor skills will not allow them to do what they are trying to do.