Why do this problem?
is useful for developing good spatial awareness and offers opportunities for sharing different ways of approaching it.
Depending on the pupils' experiences, it may be appropriate to start with them all together with a practical example. Using a large dice, they could observe what happens as it rolls and try to predict what face will be at the bottom each time. Show children the picture of the prints which go in four different directions from the centre number, and encourage them to describe what has
happened. Can they roll the large dice to show how these prints have been made?
You could then present the challenge itself and give children time to work independently or in pairs. A copy of the route can be found on this sheet (word
). Try not to direct the way they work as you may be suprised by the methods they choose.
The plenary can then focus on their different approaches. Allow time for all the different ways to be explained and then encourage pairs/small groups to discuss which method they might use if they were presented with a similar problem. Can they justify their choice?
You may be surprised by those learners who find this task challenging and need extra support and those who don't.
When working with the simple cube above:
What's happening here?
What can you tell me about the one at the bottom when I roll it this way?
When working on the actual challenge:
How are you working this out?
Is there more than one way of getting there?
When pupils have managed this activity in a confident way they may like to have a look at Inky Cube
which is similar but much harder. You could also give the pupils opportunities to create their own cubes and set challenges for each other.
Some pupils will need practice in carefully rolling the dice.