Note: We are experiencing technical difficulties with Cake’s formatting of @mazed70 ‘s first response. I’ve therefore gone ahead and reposted it here and was able to get things to work.
When our discussion concludes I will hide the unformatted duplicates.
Thank you for involving me and asking about my twitter posts.
I have been on twitter for a few years and enjoy puzzles and seeing other teachers share ideas for the classroom.
I like to create questions which are linked to a theme or event where possible, so Christmas, Halloween and Bonfire night give a good starting point and provide a hook.
The first puzzle I posted which spread quickly within the maths community was the World Cup question below.
I wanted to post a maths puzzle based around the World Cup and as England were playing that evening I wanted to base it around our star player- Harry Kane.
I started by looking for some numerical facts about his height, weight and his average goal score and then finally decided to base it around his age. The first draft was just a question about Harry being one less than a square number, but as the puzzle evolved I added Jordan Pickford for more interest and reinforcement of square numbers. I think the reason it became popular was firstly the timing, secondly the popularity of football and thirdly the accessibility of the maths.
This question began life as a fraction question on paper.
"The line AD is such that the ratio of AB to BC is 2:3.
The ratio of BC to CD is 2:3.
If the length of AD is 19cm , what is the length of AC?"
I originally wrote that one length AB was 2/3 of length BC, and BC 2/3 of CD. However I felt that the question didn’t read easily so I decided to use ratios instead and the question changed. I was then happy with the question but still not entirely happy with the presentation so I decided to add the diagram for two reasons :
1) For clarity
2) To make the question more appealing as people are scrolling through their twitter feed.
The indices problem you quoted evolved from my classroom where I set this question to a very gifted pupil who was working on a completely different topic to the rest of the class. I had already given him some indices work including multiplication and division with algebra but wanted to try something that would make him think a bit differently. His first response was
x = 3 .
I shared it on twitter and enjoyed the responses and reading the different approaches that people take.
I also like puzzles where there are multiple solutions like the one below.
I know that remembering primes can be difficult, so I thought that this would be a good question to help with remembering them.
"This year Jacks age is under 100 and he is twice as old as Jill. If Jill's age this year is prime ,and next year Jack's age is prime , what ages could Jill be now?"
I wrote out a list of possible primes for Jill first (under 50) and then worked from there.
The last point I like to consider when setting questions is that as well as being enjoyable and accessible, I try to keep them quite short and often solvable without pen and paper.