Saturday, 5 January 2013

2 0 1 3 challenge

Last year, whilst on my GTP, I put up a '4 fours challenge' in my classroom for students to do over the course of a couple of weeks until all of the numbers from 1-100 were made using 4 fours. This display (made from using some of my Magic Whiteboards) created a good amount of interest from my students, and indeed other students from classes that also used my classroom (this included an A-level Biology class that had one particular student who completed a few of them).
What I like about this activity is that in encourages students to solve a problem in their own time as well as in class as a starter activity. Classes would come in to my lessons looking at the display wondering how many had been done since their last lesson, and what target numbers where left to do.

Here is the finished '4 fours challenge' display from last year...

So, due to the success of the display/activity last year I have decided to do a similar one this year. Seen as it is the very start of 2013 I will use the digits 2, 0, 1 and 3 with the same rules as before in the 4 fours challenge.

I will put up another set of Magic Whiteboard sheets and write onto it the numbers 1-100 and then write up the rules next to it:

using the digits 2, 0, 1 and 3 try an make all the numbers from 1-100
you may use any mathematical symbol/operation (x, +, -, divide, square root, square, cube etc)
you must use all of the digits, 2, 0, 1 and 3
you can combine numbers i.e. you can make 20 from the 2 and the 0 so 20 + 1 + 3 is fine to make 24
remember BODMAS
(I may start off the display with a few examples)

I'm not yet sure that all 100 numbers can be reached, but that (I guess) is the beauty of this activity as it will be student centered in that they will be the ones doing the work, and I will just verify each. I will also award VIVOs to those that manage to complete any of the numbers 1-100 and use this to provide a bit of an added incentive to give them a go.
I will post a picture of the display when I get it up on Monday!


  1. I set up the Four 4s problem in our maths department just before breaking up. Looking forward to seeing how it progresses over the next couple of weeks. I have put it in the corridor (we don't have our own classrooms), and have asked for submissions. I've also added a bit where they can submit a more efficient solution (can be done with less key presses) to replace an already achieved number.

  2. You are not alone! See link to math Forum Year Game -

    Happy New Year!

  3. excellent Colleen - great minds and all of that! :)

    Good idea with the 'more efficient solution Dan, I may well introduce this too - especially as there are bound to be a number of solutions for some of the numbers!

  4. Did you ever make all 100???? We have 43 of the 100 done.

  5. did u complete it i have 75