Stick Logic

CreativeLearning  http://creativestarlearning.co.uk/maths-outdoors/stick-logic/

26 JANUARY 2013 · 4 COMMENTS

in EARLY YEARS OUTDOORSMATHS OUTDOORSURBAN

One ongoing challenge for teachers is ensuring that children who finish earlier than others have something meaningful to move onto. There’s lots of possibilities outside and this stick activity is one such example. It can be completed in pairs or by children working alone. It helps if children know they can look at the work that others are doing.

Take 1: 5 triangles – not bad for starters!

The children need to find 9 sticks of about the same length. Conveniently I have a big stash of cut sticks. If you do not have such luxury items, then challenge children to find or create 9 sticks of equal length. Twigs are fine too.

Take 2: A 4 triangle option

Take 3: 7 triangles – getting better

The challenge is pretty simple: how many triangles is it possible to make using 9 sticks? I have no idea, but the photos give you an indication of how I went about the task.

Take 4: I can spot 10 triangles

This logic activity can also be ongoing over several days. I like coming up with variations on a theme and asking children to do the same. For example, what differences would we discover if:

  • We used 9 sticks of different lengths
  • We used less than 9 sticks or more than 9 sticks – Is there a pattern to what we discover?
  • We chose a different shape to create, e.g. a square

Take 5: If only I had moved the middle stick up a bit! 16 triangles

Take 6: I can count 18 triangles but I’m getting fuzzy eyes!

All-in-all it can be quite an absorbing task. I’m not sure this is the maximum number possible. If you better 18, I’d love to know how! Oh and add a link to the picture!

Published by makingpi

Our interest is to create a brilliant practical applied maths programme for teaching students who struggle with engaging in Maths. Our interests range from building bridges to making beautiful silver objects.

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