Of all the maths tasks I have ever written (and there have been many!) this may well be my favourite. It’s The Jewellery Case task from First Class Maths, one of the logic puzzles from the resource.
The intrigue created by the context, uncovering the criminal from a robbery in a jewellers, hooks children immediately into the task. However, the children will need to show great perseverance and creativity to decipher how the five clues can be used together to find the final solution. Then, once the children have a solution, they have to find a way to articulate their reasoning – a real challenge!
It usually takes the children – even the most able – 40 minutes or so to find a solution that they are confident with and can articulate. The task always leads to children producing various written representations and engaging in heated discussions as they explore their ideas and justify their solutions. Here are two of the explanations given, one presented as a diagram (sorry, poor quality photo!) and the other a written explanation:
If anyone is in need of an extra layer of challenge, the following extension is also provided:
It’s one of the jewels of the First Class Maths resource, released by Alan Peat ltd! http://www.thecepress.com/product/first-class-maths/