Focus on Math

Helping children become mathematicians!

Problem Solving Questions: Primary February 11, 2011

Filed under: Primary Math Ideas & Problems — Focus on Math @ 6:35 pm

Here are two problems you might like to explore with your class. Remember, even though both problems have a single correct answer, the richness of the questions lies in the fact that students are not directed to a particular method of finding the answer. Instead, they are to figure out ways to solve the problem using what they know about numbers.

Question 1: Bertha Bunny has made a special cake for her friend and wants to decorate the cake with a circle of carrots and radishes. Bertha wants to put 8 carrots around the edge of the cake. Between each carrot she wants to put 4 small radishes. How many radishes will Bertha need to decorate the cake? (Note: for grade 1’s you might want to only have 2 radishes between each carrot.)

Question 2: Trucker Tom has two buckets of oil he will be using in his big rig truck. One bucket has 6 litres more in it than the other. Altogether Tom has 20 litres of oil. How many litres are in each bucket?

I hope you will give one or both problems a try. Please share the kinds of strategies your students used!

Mathematically yours,


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