Why do this problem?
This number exploration
offers an opportunity for pupils to investigate different aspects of our number system.
Some younger pupils will like to have 16 little sticks or rods to see what they can do. Other pupils might work on squared paper drawing the numerals along the sides of the squares.
It is handy to have some calculators available for them to check how numbers are written (particularly the 4 and the 7 - 7 varies from calculator to calculator so look carefully).
Tell me about the numbers you've found.
How did you find these?
It looks as if you have a kind of system for finding more, can you tell me about it?
If some of the pupils have been looking at taking a number like 565 and writing also 556 and 655; then taking different kinds of numbers and looking at all the possibilities just using those numerals, then this can be extended. They could look at the number of ways you can rearrange 3, 4, 5, etc different numerals and/or 3, 4, 5 numerals in which two are the same.
Searching for the largest and smallest numbers and maybe allowing a decimal point to be used where ever they wish is another possibility.
Pupils who find it hard to make a start may need an adult to work alongside them in helping to construct the right shape for each digit.