Block 2: Problem Solving

We have a number of different kinds of problem solving activities for the Maths Mastery in Year 2. Firstly, there are the straightforward word questions, which at this age are usually just one step. It is always worth watching how children approach these questions. For example: ‘A bag of potatoes weighs 2 kg. How much would 6 bags of potatoes weigh?’ How a child answers will tell you a lot about their mathematical ability and confidence. Some children will use their knowledge of times tables (2 x 6 = 12). Some will write down 2 six times and add them up. Others will count in twos on their fingers. 2-step questions are also introduced and these are much harder, requiring two different calculations to reach the answer. Other activities are more open ended, but just as worthwhile. These often involve ‘How many ways’ types of question. They require an orderly logical approach which young children only develop over time. This is also true for the ‘magic square’ type questions where children will not reach the correct answer immediately but will need some ‘trial and improvement’ techniques.

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