#MondayMaths and a few wordy sums

Blog: Vicki Robinson , Communications Officer | Posted: 7/09/16
#MondayMaths and a few wordy sums

We’ve taken some fairly simple additions in this week’s wordy #MondayMaths puzzle and devilishly replaced digits with letters.

In each of the three sums, a letter represents a particular number between zero and nine. We’re asking students to work out which sums are possible and provide examples.

As part of our mastery curriculum, Year 7 students will be looking at place value from the beginning of this term. This puzzle is a lovely way to challenge their depth of understanding of place value and the column method for written addition.

Where to begin

When trying to draw any conclusions with these kind of problems, it’s often useful to work from the ones column, to the tens, and then to the hundreds etc. as you would with a standard column addition. You can also encourage students to ask themselves if anything special would happen if one of the letters represented zero.

The next step should consider what it means if the numbers being added and their sums have a different number of digits.

A head start

Here are some clues for each word sum:

MM 44blog2

  • HIM + HER = THEM
    It may be useful to start by thinking about the value of R if M is represented in the ones column of one of the original numbers and the total.
  • CHICK + DUCK = BIRDS
    Have a look at the ten thousands column and consider what B’s value must be in relation to C. Remember that as it’s an addition of two terms, there will be a maximum of one ‘ten thousand’ to exchange from the thousands column.
  • DELHI + OSLO = CITIES
    Start by considering how the sum could have a digit in the hundred thousands column. Think about which values might be being exchanged from lower place value columns; what’s the only way this is possible? Does this help you work out the value of O?

Do share this with friends and colleagues – and of course let us know on Twitter how you get on.

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