Posted by Peter on 22nd October 2012

# Patterns and problems in Year 4

There are many different ways of presenting number problems to children, other than just the traditional ‘sums’ style approach. This page shows three very different approaches to questions that many children will find quite hard.

The first is in the style of a function machine, i.e. a number is put into the machine, various operations are carried out and a number will come out at the end. For this function machine the operations are: x 4 and + 6. The hardest part of this is the last question where the output is given and the input has to be worked out and the machine can be reversed by subtracting 6 and dividing by 4 to get the answer, although many children will use trial and error/improvement methods.

The number sentences in the second question are quite straightforward apart from the fact that both tens and units digits are missing. it is easiest to take one part at a time e.g. find the missing unit and then the missing ten. Watch out for the subtraction!

By year 5 children should be used to magic squares and not find this too tricky, especially with the clue to help.

This page can be found in our year 4, Using and Applying Maths category.

Patterns and problems