#MondayMaths and heavy metal

Monday Maths: Vicki Robinson, Communications Officer

#MondayMaths and heavy metal

Posted: 14/11/16

This week’s #MondayMaths is the perfect opportunity for you and your class to practice bar modelling!

We’re dealing with some high-value information about lots of heavy and shiny materials… (yes you guessed it), the masses of bronze, silver, gold and platinum bars – and we’re asking you to work out the mass of the silver bar. Up for the challenge?

Becoming masters

This problem is a great opportunity for Year 7 students to use bar modelling to represent the information in a more tangible way. This term learners will become confident in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of decimals. Applying this knowledge to this puzzle works well as a depth task or an investigation.

Students in Key Stage 4 and beyond could be challenged to solve the problem algebraically, building on skills they develop in the second term of Year 8.

Being able to express a word problem in mathematical and algebraic language as well as equations will continue to be a key skill throughout our mastery curriculum.

Supporting students

  • This problem might be quite tricky for some of your students, so asking students to find the total mass of one of each type of bar is a good stepping stone. This variation demonstrates the importance in fully reading the question before building a strategy.
  • For a hands on extension to this problem, you can give students four objects of different masses and ask them to find the mass of each one. But what’s the catch? They aren’t allowed to weigh the objects one by one – only in groups.
  • And then ask them to describe their strategies and explain why they are efficient.
  • To extend the puzzle, how about asking students to find the individual mass of each of the different bars?

As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on Twitter. Our answer will be shared with you on Thursday.

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