Reasoning and Problem Solving
On Thursday, 6B warmed up their brains by adding and subtracting negative numbers in order to win a game of tug of war against their learning partner. We then began to work our way through a mathematical problem which needed some serious systematic thinking. The problem was:
You each have four 'weights'.
A = 1
B = -3
D = -27
What is the smallest 'weight' you can make?
What is the highest 'weight' you can make?
How many different weights is it possible to make if you only have one of each weight?
The class discussed what skills we might need to use before tackling the problem. Some children chose to use a table in order to ensure they had found all combinations, where others chose to use lists and notes.
Once this problem had been discussed, some children chose to challenge themselves by using 2 of each weight and trying to find all weights between the lowest and highest possible. There was some excellent verbal reasoning to be heard between pairs and the children were determined to find the answer!