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### Number and algebra

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### Working mathematically

### For younger learners

### Advanced mathematics

# Medal Muddle

### Why do this problem?

### Possible approach

### Key questions

### Possible extension

### Possible support

## You may also like

### Consecutive Numbers

### Tea Cups

### Counting on Letters

Links to the University of Cambridge website
Links to the NRICH website Home page

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30 April (Primary), 1 May (Secondary)

30 April (Primary), 1 May (Secondary)

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Age 11 to 14

Challenge Level

- Problem
- Getting Started
- Student Solutions
- Teachers' Resources

This problem is an exercise in strategic thinking, accessible to lower Stage 3 students but hinting at work on sorting algorithms that they might meet at Stage 5 in Decision Maths.

"I'm going to give you a problem to solve, and while you work on it, I'd like you to think about the strategies you are using. Imagine you had to solve lots of problems like this one. How would you ensure that you found the correct answer accurately and efficiently?"

Hand out this worksheet for students to work on in pairs (or individually at first if they wish).

These cards could be printed and handed out to students so they can manipulate the order as they work their way through the different clues.

Once students have had a chance to discuss the merits of different approaches, hand out this worksheet with the extension challenge, so that they can test how their chosen strategy works on a longer problem with more information to consider. Here is a set of cards for the extension activity.

Which representations or ways of organising your thinking help you to use the information given to solve the problem efficiently?

Challenge students to create their own versions of the problem, which could be shared on the blog.

The visual representation shown in the hint is a very clear way of seeing the relationship between the different countries.

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

Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.

The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word ABACUS from this triangular pattern?