Being Resourceful - Primary

Being Resourceful - Primary is part of our Developing Mathematical Habits of Mind Primary collection.  You can see the full collection by scrolling down to the bottom of the Primary Curriculum page.

Good thinkers are resourceful and reflective. They think critically and can explain and justify the choices that they make. They become absorbed in what they are doing and show attention to detail. They look back on what they have done in order to learn from both successes and failures.

How do we help our learners to become more resourceful?

These problems require careful consideration. If you allow your learners time to immerse themselves in the problems, they may learn to appreciate that the journey is often as important as the destination. 

Additionally you may find that these tasks support the development of other problem-solving skills and mathematical habits of mind, which you could choose to highlight as and when they arise.

You can browse through the Number, Measures, Geometry or Statistics collections, or scroll down to see the full set of problems below.
Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Being Resourceful - Primary Number

Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Being Resourceful - Primary Measures

Measure problems at primary level that require careful consideration.

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Being Resourceful - Primary Geometry

Geometry problems at primary level that require careful consideration.

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Being Resourceful - Primary Statistics

Statistics problems at primary level that require careful consideration.

Poly Plug Rectangles

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

The computer has made a rectangle and will tell you the number of spots it uses in total. Can you find out where the rectangle is?

The Animals' Sports Day

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

One day five small animals in my garden were going to have a sports day. They decided to have a swimming race, a running race, a high jump and a long jump.

Ladybird Count

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Some children were playing a game. Make a graph or picture to show how many ladybirds each child had.

Repeating Patterns

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create your own repeating pattern?

Turning Man

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Use the interactivity to find out how many quarter turns the man must rotate through to look like each of the pictures.

Wallpaper

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

These pieces of wallpaper need to be ordered from smallest to largest. Can you find a way to do it?

Eggs in Baskets

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

There are three baskets, a brown one, a red one and a pink one, holding a total of 10 eggs. Can you use the information given to find out how many eggs are in each basket?

Heads and Feet

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

On a farm there were some hens and sheep. Altogether there were 8 heads and 22 feet. How many hens were there?

The Tall Tower

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

As you come down the ladders of the Tall Tower you collect useful spells. Which way should you go to collect the most spells?

Seeing Squares

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.

Dotty Six

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Dotty Six is a simple dice game that you can adapt in many ways.

Shape Times Shape

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

These eleven shapes each stand for a different number. Can you use the multiplication sums to work out what they are?

A Puzzling Cube

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Here are the six faces of a cube - in no particular order. Here are three views of the cube. Can you deduce where the faces are in relation to each other and record them on the net of this cube?

Play to 37

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.

Square Corners

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?

Cows and Sheep

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many sheep there are in each field.

Torn Shapes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have inside it before it was ripped?

Coded Hundred Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?

Magic Vs

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?

Dicey Operations in Line

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Who said that adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing couldn't be fun?

Cut Nets

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Each of the nets of nine solid shapes has been cut into two pieces. Can you see which pieces go together?

Mystery Matrix

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.

Through the Window

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?

Sealed Solution

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?

Sponge Sections

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

You have been given three shapes made out of sponge: a sphere, a cylinder and a cone. Your challenge is to find out how to cut them to make different shapes for printing.

Four Go

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge is a game for two players. Choose two of the numbers to multiply or divide, then mark your answer on the number line. Can you get four in a row?

The Remainders Game

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Play this game and see if you can figure out the computer's chosen number.

First Connect Three

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?

Nice or Nasty

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...

Eight Hidden Squares

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight hidden squares?

Cops and Robbers

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find a reliable strategy for choosing coordinates that will locate the robber in the minimum number of guesses?

Baravelle

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?