Problem Solving Skills – How much is a tin of tomatoes?

Image from the Sainsbury's website, I hope they are pleased to get some free advertising :)

Ever since I went to school. the format for a “normal” Maths lesson has been the same:

  1. Teach a new method
  2. Show the class some examples
  3. Give them a set of similar problems to try.

Just at the moment I’m exploring an alternative approach

  1. Think about ONE interesting* problem to give the pupils
  2. Give it to them, and see what they come up with, being open to them experiencing a dose of “I can’t do it” and “I’m stuck”

The definition of *interesting is a big challenge of course, and will rest on how well you know your pupils. Today I picked food because it is an area of common interest between me and one of my pupils. I gave her a problem which I would classify as a “backwards” problem – I was asking her to discover the price of a tin of tomatoes, given some clues.

Click Here to see the printable Tomato Puzzle

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