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Challenge of the Week

Page history last edited by Sandra McVannel 11 years, 1 month ago



This page on our wiki site is the Challenge of the Week.  Each week there will be a problem, brainteaser or challenge for you to try.  If you make an attempt, bring in your results and share them with Mrs. McVannel and the kids in room 17!  The challenge will be posted for one week then we will share the  the following calendar week.  Good luck and have fun!


Week of April 15, 2013. www.bitstripsforschools.com:  Login in again and create your avatar so that we can create comic strips at school.  It's fun and it's easy!        
Week of April 2, 2013.

You need a dice and scrap paper and pencil.      

Gr. 2:  roll the dice two times and create a two digit number.  Roll the dice again two times and make another two digit number.  Put them into a formal algorithm and add them together.  Can you use the same numbers to make a subtraction algorithm?  Keep rolling the dice to make questions for practice.  

Gr. 3:  roll the dice three times and create a three digit number.  Roll again three times to make another three digit number.  Put them into a formal algorithm and add them together.  Can you use the same numbers to make a subtraction algorithm?  Keep rolling the dice to make questions for practice.

Week of March 25, 2013.


Hamburger $3.00      Fries  $3.25     Onion Rings   $3.75   Hot Dog   $2.50   Drinks   S $1.00  M $1.50  L $2.00


1.  Find the cost of my lunch:  1 hamburger, 1 order onion rings, and a medium drink.  How much change will I get back from $10.00


2.  If I took my son out for lunch and we ordered two hamburgers, one order fries and one order onion rings, a medium drink and a large drink, how much would our order cost?  Will I have enough with a twenty dollar bill?


Week of March 17, 2013.

Try this game and decide if it is fair?


Two players each roll an ordinary 6-sided die.  Of the two numbers showing the smaller is subtracted from the larger.  If the difference is 0, 1, or 2, player A gets a point. If the difference is 3, 4, or 5, player B gets a point.  The game ends after 12 rounds.  The player with the most points wins.  


Is this a fair game?

Week of February 25, 2013.


Would you rather work 7 days at $20 a day, or be paid $2 for the first day

and have your salary double every day for a week? ( for example:  Sunday $2.00, Monday $4.00, etc...). Which

option would give you better pay?


**try showing your work on a t-chart like we learned in class.  For extra practice

show your answer on a number line or hundred chart too!

Week of February 19, 2013.

Congruency problems.

Read each problem and choose your answers.  Can you explain your choice?








Week of February 11, 2013.

Valentine's Patterning Problem...

Janet has a pink blouse, a red blouse and a white blouse.  She has a pink skirt, a red skirt, a black skirt and a white skirt.  How many different combinations could she make?



Week of February 4, 2013.

A few Valentine's Day problems....


1.  Katarina bought a box of 15 Valentines for $2.59.  She mailed them all out using a $0.63 stamp on each.  How much did this cost Katarina?

2.  Roses normally cost $19.00 a dozen, but for Valentine's Day the price goes up to $35.00.  What is the difference in price?  Show your thinking.  What strategy will you use!  

3.  There are 20 students in our grade 2/3 class.  Each student gives every other student in the class a card.  How many cars are exchanged?  How can you show your thinking!?  

Good luck!


Week of January 28, 2013.

Flat Stanley Challenge:

We mailed out our Flat Stanleys this week in two batches.  Try to find out the cost of each group of letters and find the total amount of money we spent.  


21 International letters at $1.85 each.

14 letters to U.S.A at $1.10 each.

44 letters across Canada at $0.63 each.

Show your work and bring in your results!  Have fun!


Week of January 21, 2013.

"Mirror, Mirror, what do I see?"

When you back away from a mirror do you see more of yourself?  Does backing up show you

more or yourself?  How much of yourself do you see in a smaller mirror? (get a mirror and check it out.

What do you think?)


Week of January 14, 2013.

What's your angle?


*this week grade 3 students will be learning about angles.

Spread out your fingers and look at your hand.  Do people with bigger hands have larger

angles between their fingers?

Spread out your fingers and look at your hand.  Trace it on paper and label

each angle:  right angle, obtuse angle (bigger than a right angle), or acute

angle (smaller than a right angle). Then find someone else who has a bigger

hand than you and do the same thing.  


Answer our question:  Do people with bigger hands have larger angles between their fingers?

How can you find out for sure?


Week of January 7, 2013.

Birthday Arithmetic.


Your birthdate can be shown by using only numbers.  For example, if your birthday is February 1, 2005 it could look like this:  02/01/05.  February is the second month (02), the date (01) then the last two digits of the year (05).  What would your birthdate be?  Write it  down.


Now get a calculator and try this algorithm to get your birthdate.


1.  Punch in the number of the month in which you were born.

2.  Multiply it by 4.  ( X4)

3.  Add 13.  (+13)

4.  Multiply by 25.  ( X 25)

5.  Subtract 200.  (-200)

6.  Add the day of the month that you were born.  (+ )

7.  Subtract 40.  (-40)

8.  Multiply by 50.  (X 50)

9.  Add in the last two digits of the year you were born.  (+ 05)

10.  Subtract 10 500.


If you followed the calculations correctly, you should have the same answer on the calculator that you wrote on your paper at the beginning of this activity!


Week of December 10, 2012.

How many squares are on the chess board?  Don't be fooled and count carefully!!!  Can you show your solution in a table?  




To view a large copy of this chess board, click on the icon in the right hand corner of the attachment.

To print a copy of this chess board so that you can "mark it up" and count all the squares, click on the printer icon!  Good luck!


Week of December 3, 2012

Each batch of 48 cookies that Amy makes takes 20 minutes in the oven. If the oven is on for 3 hours and 55 minutes (15 minutes for preheating), how many cookies did Amy make?


Show your solution using pictures, number and words...

Week of November 18, 2012.

Which if the patterns can be folded

into a box with an orange ribbon that is

printed continuously all the way around it? 


Week of November 11, 2012.



Ms. McCutcheon is a BIG fan of riddles.  Last year she shared some riddles with my class and kept them thinking.  Here a few riddles that I came upon and wondered if you might be interested in trying to answer them!  Record your ideas and bring them in to share!

1.  What is as big as an elephant, but weighs nothing?

2.  If it takes six men one hour to dig six holes, how long does it take one man to dig half a hole? it takes six men one hour to dig six holes, how long does it take one man to dig half a hole?

3.  A farmer has seventeen sheep. All but nine of them die. How many sheep does he have left?

4.  A boy was rushed to the hospital emergency room. The ER doctor saw the boy and said, "I cannot operate on this boy. He is my son." But the doctor was not the boy's father. How could that be?

5.  You throw away the outside and cook the inside. You eat the outside and throw away the inside. What did you eat?

6.  A red house is made from red bricks. A blue house is made from blue bricks. A yellow house is made from yellow bricks. What is a green house made from?


**can you write your own? 

Week of November 4, 2012.

There are five identical squares in this cross formed of 16 matchsticks.

Move three matchsticks to get six identical squares. You may not overlap, break or leave any "loose ends".  (If you don't have any matchsticks, you can use toothpicks.  We also have some matchsticks in the classroom if you want to try it at school!)

Good luck!



Week of October 29, 2012.

Graphing Practise

Visit our math page and click on Extra Practise Worksheets.  Choose a bar graphing and a pictographing activity to complete at home.  Remember to work neatly.  Remember that your reader needs to understand your work.  Have fun!

Week of October 22, 2012.

Bit Strips for Schools

Students are excited when they can create their own comic strips.  Bit Strips for Schools offers that opportunity.  Students are invited to login using our class username and their own personal password.  They are invited to create an avatar that looks like themselves.  The first activity which is offered in the Pro Card Activity.  Students can create a Pro Card, like a trading card, to share features of themselves.  Since we are awaiting updating to our computers at school, we are unable to use this site at the moment and it would be great for students to be able to create their own avatar at home.

Week of October 15, 2012.

Dance Mat Typing

This week's challenge isn't a problem to solve or word wall word play...it's a challenge to begin learning to type on the keyboard.  You can access the program called Dance Mat Typing through the Language Arts button.  Click on Language Websites and look for Dance Mat Typing!  Students learn how to place hands properly on the keyboard and use the correct fingers to type letters.  We will be working more frequently on the computer publishing our writing, blogging, and using Web 2.0 tools and keyboarding is a great skill for the future.  (P.S.  this is a great program for grown-ups too!  Check it out!).


****Keep track of the levels you finish by recording it in your planner!!!

Week of October 8, 2012.

Word Wall Challenge:


Use all the word wall words (Chech our Word Wall Wordsso far and do a variety of activities with them.  

1.  Put ALL the words in alphabetical order.

2.  Use each word in a sentence so that it shows the meaning of the word.  (make sure you spell them all correctly).

3.  See if you can come up with at least ONE rhyming word for each word wall word to date.

4.  Pick a couple of word wall words and see if you can find a spelling pattern (ie. vacation - tion.....).  Brainstorm other words with the same spelling pattern.

5.  Come up with your OWN challenge for the word wall words!


Looking forward to seeing your work!

Week of October 1, 2012.


Gina wanted to make a special necklace for her teacher.  She wanted to spend all her money on beads.  Gina had $3.00 to spend.  "The three types of beads that I want to use cost 15 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents each. I want to use all my money and have none left over.  I want my necklace to have a repeating pattern, beginning and ending with a pink bead.  I want to use mostly purple beads which is my teacher's favourite colour.  I think I want to use all three beads in my necklace." 


Is it possible for Gina to design a necklace following all of these "rules"?  Can you design a necklace following Gina's rules?  Remember to explain how you figured our your solution.  YOu can draw, write, or actually make the necklace...whatever works for you!  Have fun!

Week of September 24, 2012.

BIRTHDAY RIDDLE:  Do you know your calendar?  Try to figure this:


The day before yesterday I was 25 and the next year I will be 28. This is true only one

day in a year. What day is my birthday?


Explain your thinking using clear details in sentences.  Show any math, or draw pictures

to help.  Have fun and good luck!

Week of September 18, 2012.


Take two sheets of paper (8 1/2 X11) and roll them into a short cylinder

and a tall cylinder (turn one lengthwise to make a tall cylinder,

and one widthwise to make a short stubby cylinder). If they were filled

with popcorn, does one hold more than the other? 


Ask yourself: how can I find out? What tools will I need to

find out?  What can I write down to explain how I found the answer?



                    Which one would you buy?


P.S.  Suggestions: bring in the cylinders and the tools

you used to solve this one!  If you have an iPod touch with a camera,

videotape your solution and bring it in to school for us to watch!  


Week of September 11, 2012.

"Red, Yellow, Orange and Brown. Leaves are falling all over town!  That's a poem I learned in Kindergarten!" said Gina as she raked the leaves in the yard.  "I have a better one," laughed her cousin Barney.  "Raking leaves is very hard, and most of the leaves fell in this backyard!"  "That's a good one Barney,"  Aunty said.  "I love having lots of trees in my yard, but it is a big job raking them up in the fall.  Thanks for offering to help."

"Who could resist your offer to make taffy apples and hot cider!"  said Danny, stopping to rest.  (Offering food is a great way to get Danny to do anything!)

"And don't forget, I promised to pay you a nickel for every minute you raked!" Aunty reminded him.

"OK!" laughed Danny starting to rake again.  "I can take a hint!"

After the job was done and the snacks were eaten, Aunty reached for her purse.  "Let's see.  How much do I owe each of you?"

"I raked for 20 minutes." said Gina.

"I raked for 5 more minutes than Gina." bragged Barney.

"I raked 5 minutes less than Gina." admitted Danny.  Aunty got down her nickel piggy bank and began to pay.  How many nickels did she have to pay each child?

Week of

September 4th, 2012.


Giant Jelly Beans

“Aunty, come look what we got you from Texas!” called Danny as he came through the kitchen door, wearing the biggest cowboy hat I ever saw.  I quickly took off my apron, and ran to greet the boys.  They had been on a short vacation trip with their parents to Texas, and I was eager to hear all about it. 

“What is Texas like?” I asked. People were playing Mexican music all the time!” said Barney, sitting down at the table.  “We got these giant Texas cowboy hats because everything in Texas is supposed to be big.”

“And don’t forget the Tex-Mex food!” said Danny.  “ Enchiladas, tacos, barbeque. Giant plates just full of food!”

“I should know you’d like the food best!” I said, laughing. (Danny is a genuine food lover!)

“Speaking of food,” said Danny, holding up a sack , “We brought you some Giant Texas Jelly Beans! In Texas even the jelly beans are huge.  Look at this!”  Danny held up a red jelly bean that was the size of my thumb. 

“Well, I have to admit,” I said “That’s the biggest jelly bean I ever saw!”

“We bought some for you, aunty” said Barney, “but on the plane ride home, we thought of a math challenge using these beans.  Do you want to hear it?”

“I reckon I do, pardner! ” I said, trying to make my voice sound like a Texas cowboy.

“OK” said Danny. “You have to figure out how many giant jelly beans we brought you.  Here are the clues:

  • The number of red jelly beans is double the number of black jelly beans.
  • There are an equal number of black and green jelly beans.
  • There are 2 fewer red jelly beans than yellow  jelly beans.
  • There are half as many pink jelly beans as yellow jelly beans.
  • I counted 4 black jelly beans in the bag.”

“Hmm…that’s a Texas sized problem if I ever heard one,”  I said, shaking my head.

Can you help me figure out how many giant jelly beans the boys brought me? You may have to wear a Texas sized “thinking cap” to figure out this one!





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