Roald Dahl day on Monday gave us the perfect opportunity to practise our reasoning and problem-solving skills. Children were given various clues to work out in which order George (from ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’) was storing his medicine bottles. After initial investigations, coloured cubes were found to be an excellent concrete representation for the different colours. Have a go to see if you can work out the order and if there is more than one order.

  • The first bottle does not contain cough syrup;
  • The bottle next to the cough syrup is purple;
  • The orange bottle is in an odd numbered position;
  • The green bottle is made up of the colours of bottles 1 and 6;
  • The cough syrup is stored in a red bottle and two places up from the blue bottle.

Year 8s also had the chance to revise their use of prime factors in problems by manipulating prime factor tiles. It was amazing how many ways they could find for efficiently multiplying large numbers. They went on to face questions like:

What is the largest square number which divides exactly into 180?

Much easier when you know 180 = 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 5 and can lay out the tiles in front to manipulate the square numbers. Rearranging them to give different ways to get to the same answer of 36.

Alison Tripp