From Random to Systematic

We might often suggest to children that they try to 'work more systematically' but do they know what this means? These three tasks all lend themselves to systematic working as they challenge learners to find all possible solutions. The teachers' resources section of each one provides more detail about how you can support learners to develop this invaluable skill.

We suggest that you introduce the tasks in the order below. As a group of three, these problems will give you the chance to focus in particular on the reasoning, problem solving and attitude strands of the rope model.

You can find more tasks which offer opportunities for working systematically in our lower primary and upper primary collections, in addition to our Working Systematically feature.

6 Beads

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

If you put three beads onto a tens/ones abacus you could make the numbers 3, 30, 12 or 21. What numbers can be made with six beads?

Three Ball Line Up

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.

Inside Triangles

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?