Why do this
we have five conditions which makes just trial and
improvement a possible lengthy affair. Some initial logical
thinking reduces the number of options.
You may wish to use
Eggs in Baskets
first, as a whole class activity which is an
easier example of this kind of question. Share strategies which
help and ways of recording.
Then give pairs of children this question and give some time
for them to 'get into' the problem, allowing them a choice of
resources. After a little while ask the class to stop and share
what they have found out so far and how. Encourage them to justify
any statements they make, and if agreed record these centrally for
all to see. Emphasise that the solution itself is of less interest
than the logical thinking that takes place.
Rather than stopping the class when a solution is found,
encourage the children to record their work on large sheets of
paper and display these where all can see them, choosing one or two
pairs to describe their way of working and take questions from the
rest of the class.
Can we say who has the most eggs?
How do you know?
Children who complete this quickly and easily could make up
similar problems for others. It may take some time for them to
realise that starting with the solution is an easier way of making
up a question than beginning with the statements!
Children who find this difficult could also make up questions,
beginning with a number of eggs divided between three people and
recording enough statements about the distribution for someone else
to work out what it is.