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Here are nine triangles. Each one has three numbers on it.
Your challenge is to arrange these triangles to make one big triangle, so the numbers that touch add up to 10.
Once you've finished making the big triangle, think about these questions:
How did you get started?
What did you do next?
You can print out the sheet at the top of this page and cut the triangles out, then try arranging them.
If you prefer, you can also use a printable version of the triangles with numbers represented on tens frames.
Alternatively, you might like to use this interactivity, which allows you to drag each triangle onto the large triangle.
This problem is useful for consolidating number bonds to 10 and the corresponding subtraction facts. The novel context is likely to appeal to learners and encourage them to persevere. Children who are fluent with number bonds to 10 will still be challenged as the approach is not obvious, but logical reasoning will help them become more efficient in their search for a solution. The task will also draw on learners' geometrical reasoning too as they visualise triangles in different positions and orientations in order to solve the problem.
Can you find a different card with that number on it?
What might be helpful to try next?
Children could be asked whether they can find more than one solution. How will they know whether another solution is the same or different to any they have already got? How will they know that they have found all the solutions?
Learners could also use the cards to make a shape (not necessarily a triangle) where the touching numbers add to 9 (or 8 or 11). Alternatively, they could add their own choice of numbers to blank triangular pieces to create their own activity.
Children could use the cards to make a different shape (not necessarily a triangle) where the touching numbers add to 10, and/or the tens frame cards could be used to provide more support. Some children may find it difficult to cope with matching more than one pair of numbers at a time, in which case a
domino activity would be more accessible. A set of nine-spot dominoes would be useful for this and you can find one on our printable resources page. The task could be to join the dominoes together so that the 'match' adds to 10 or any other number of the children's choice. This will then give them plenty of practice in identifying number
What is the greatest number of squares you can make by overlapping three squares?
Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.
Andrew decorated 20 biscuits to take to a party. He lined them up and put icing on every second biscuit and different decorations on other biscuits. How many biscuits weren't decorated?