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# Number starter: digit sorting

- Download a 2 page PDF file with a digit sorting game about place notation for Level 2 Numeracy and GCSE Foundation
- Four cards each containing a digit
- Students work in pairs or threes and rearrange the digits to answer the questions on the second sheet
- Tutor coaches and encourages students to talk about the strategies that they are using and to link the exercise to the place notation system
- Allow about 15 minutes for a full exploration
- Other sets of four digits can be devised (digit sum must be 3, 6, or 9 for the multiple of 3 question to work!)

## Feedback

Students found the early questions straight forward. Debate became stronger about maximising the product of two two digit numbers - there was useful discussion about which of the two digit numbers had the largest *units* digit. I could have moved into algebra and FOIL at that point very easily.

There was also discussion about the smallest and largest differences - again the strategy was to decide which number had the largest or smallest *unit* digit.

The starter was adapted from an exam question on a Foundation GCSE paper some years ago. I think the practice at puzzle questions like this will be useful to Foundation GCSE students when tackling the paper.

Keith Burnett, Last update: Sun Sep 04 2011