Lesson starter – flat numbers

I found this idea on Jules Shares Teaching and liked the idea so much that I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a numeracy puzzle that looks at the numbers involved when painting doors. Therefore it is an ideal resource for embedding in Painting and Decorating courses.

The question posed to the students was:

A new block of 100 flats has been built.

Dave has to paint the numbers from 1 to 100 on the doors.                                                                                                          

How many times will he have to paint the number 9?

Although when Julie used this puzzle with her class she looked at the number 9 the puzzle would work with any number in the 1-9 range.I haven’t tried this idea out yet but Julie found that ‘A lot of learners say 11 as they do not count 90, 91, 92 and so on as they have counted up from 9, 19, 29 and their brain gets into a pattern. Then when they do realise they get to 19 and forget the number 99 has two 9′s in it. The answer is 20. This creates discussion regarding writing information down, so that learners can visualise what they are doing.’

Julie teaches Functional Skills maths, English and ICT at Barnsley College. Her blog is full of useful ideas for the SFL classroom and is well worth a read.

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