Every now and again in Maths I like to set my Year 4 class a puzzle / investigation / challenge in order to give them an opportunity to discuss their mathematical understanding with their classmates.
Today I set them the Great Pirate Treasure Challenge. I gave them a sheet with tables such as the example below
They were told that the first row indicates the amount of gold in the treasure chest and the second row shows how many pirates were in the group. They had to then work out how many gold pieces each pirate would receive. To add to the challenge they were told that the pirates had to have exactly the same amount of gold otherwise they would get upset and angry. I told the children that they were the pirate’s slave and that they would receive any gold left over. Therefore if there were 20 gold pieces in the treasure the children would want to be a pirate slave for a group of 7 pirates because each pirate would only recieve 2 pieces and they would receive 6. They went on to investigate what would happen if there was more treasure in the chest.
It was great to hear the children actually discussing the maths and helping each other – the team that was most successful were three girls who all earned themselves Commendations.