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Train Carriages

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Briefcase Lock

Age 5 to 7
Challenge Level

Why do this problem?

This problem is a good context in which to encourage children to work systematically to find all possibilities.

Key questions

If $8$ is the first digit, what numbers are possible?
What could be the first digit instead of $8$?
How do you know you have all the possibilities?

Possible support

If children are struggling to find a system, invite them to write down different possible numbers on separate pieces of paper. Once they have thought of as many as they can, work with them to sort the numbers so that a pattern emerges and a structure is imposed. In this way, learners will be able to spot any gaps for themselves.