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Prompt Cards

These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.

Consecutive Numbers

An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.

Exploring Wild & Wonderful Number Patterns

EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.


Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level

Why do this problem?

This activity is extremely open and invites exploration at whatever the level of pupils' understanding. It can lead to a pupil having a wider understanding of what it is to multiply. Many opportunities are built in for exploring number patterns.

Possible approach

I have found it good to lay out some counters or cubes in the initial pattern and invite pupils to talk about what they notice, with the simple prompt, "Tell me what you see!".

Key questions

What do you notice?
Can you describe what you see for everyone so that they might see it too?
When appropriate - How did you work that out? What adding did you actually do?

Possible extension

Get the pupils to imagine that the pattern you've presented to them at the start is just one item in a sequence. Ask them to create/talk about what the previous/next ones might be.

For the Most Able

When this activity has satisfied the pupil then go to 3D Stacks for a much larger 3D exploration giving numbers that have very many properties and relationships.

Possible support

Joining in with pupils so that they are very involved with the talk would be a big asset for many children.