On Monday 21st March four children from Year 4 attended a Maths Mastermind Workshop at St Mary's C of E School in Welwyn. The workshop allowed the children to test their skills in number, construction, design and practical problems. The four childlren attending were Daisy Dixon, Vincent Lee, Dylan Seaton and Joel Swedensky.

The first activity was to work on number to achieve an overall total of 1000, using 3 columns of three digit numbers which were calculated using a dice within a dice. Daisy was the closest with 1084.

Next we had a set of 28 cards which gave information about 5 families, all of whom lived in different coloured houses, had different pets and drove a different car. You had to work out from the cards which family had which house, car and pet.This involved a lot of paired talk, organising skills and also knowing when to ignore the red herring, of which there were a few. Once the children had the knack of the task, they were well away.

Then, we were given sheets of number word problems which involved all four number operations including fractions and percentages. Each sheet had 6 problems to solve and you were not allowed to move on to the second sheet unless you had answered all of the first questions correctly. In the first and second round we had all questions correct so quickly proceeded to the third round. In that one we learned how important it was to write down jottings at least, so we can back-track if we make a mistake. However, our two slips were quickly rectified, with a bit of team work and sound advice from each other and on our next attempt the team were delighted to win the relay.

Our next activity was to build a free-standing tower out of newspaper. The tallest, most secure structure was to be the winner. With this activity we did not bring our learning from D & T to the project until near the end, so this is one area, at least, that we need to work on.

The penultimate challenge was to work out the weight of a ream of paper, knowing how much one square metre weighed. The children were given tape to make a 1m square on the foor and numerous pieces of A4 paper which was their starting point. Vincent impressed with his calculations, even being asked if he had used a calculator to work out an answer to 2 decimal places! "No," was his resounding answer. This particular challenge saw Ladbrooke come first with the correct answer.

Finally we looked at tessilation and mathematical colouring rules, producing our own pattern from a template.

With opportunities to work on so many different aspects of maths, the children had a fantastic day, as you can see from the smiles in the picture below.