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Problem Solving Exercises

One way to get your students to be more engaged is to give them small
problem solving exercises. See if they can come up with a general algorithm
to solve the type of problem.

Try this Scratch game about crossing a river.

Sudoku - Japanese game that is like a crossword puzzle with numbers
Daily game at

Check out the web site:
Here is an example:

At a recent birthday party there were four mothers and their children. aged 1, 2, 3 and 4. From the clues below can you work out whose child is whose and their relevant ages? It was Jane's child's birthday party. Brian is not the oldest child. Sarah had Anne just over a year ago. Laura's child will be 3 next birthday. Daniel is older than Charlie. Teresa's child is the oldest. Charlie is older than Laura's child.

Hint: to solve this draw a couple of tables. One with the ages and the children's names and the other with the children names and parent names.

The following exercises are based on the ones in the book
Problem Solving Strategies: Crossing the River with Dogs and Other Mathematical Adventures

Using Diagrams

If you have a sports league and there are 5 teams and each team plays
the other teams 3 times how many total games are there?

Hint: it can help to draw a diagram

Answer to total number of games

Farmer Sue has horses and chickens. She doesn't remember how many she has of each
but she knows she has 28 total and the number of legs adds up to 72. How many horses does she have?

Hint: try to solve with a diagram

Answer to number of horses

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