# Late Again

Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?

## Problem

Here is a picture of Moira's school which has a paved playground at the front:

Image

If Moira was sitting on the bench nearest the school gate, to
get to the climbing frame she could:

Go forward $2$ squares to the pond.

Turn to the right and go $1$ square forward.

Turn to the left and go $2$ squares forward.

This morning, Moira is late for school.

What is the shortest route she can take from the school gate to the school door?

Is there more than one way she could go?

## Getting Started

Which direction might you go in first?

Try and describe any route. Can you make it shorter?

How will you know which routes you have tried?

Try and describe any route. Can you make it shorter?

How will you know which routes you have tried?

## Student Solutions

David from Thomas Reade School sent in the following solution:

The shortest route is forward $1$, right $1$, forward $6$ and right $3$ which is $11$ spaces.Another way is forward $1$, right $4$ and forward $6$ which is $11$ spaces.

Another way is forward $3$, right $4$ and forward $4$ which is $11$ spaces.

(This assumes that Moira is standing just outside the school gate and finished standing outside the school doors.) Thank you David.

## Teachers' Resources

### Why do this problem?

This problem introduces children to the language involved in describing position and direction. It could be done in a practical context and adapted to suit your playground.

It would be useful to project the plan onto a screen for the children to see and you could give pairs a copy of it on paper. This sheet contains two plans.

### Key questions

Which direction might you go in first?

Try and describe any route.

Can you make it shorter?

How will you know which routes you have tried?