This week in my math group, students have been practicing their knowledge and understanding of place value. We've gone through 3 sheets of problems since Monday, which I labeled "mild, medium, and SPICY!" The mild problems were pretty straightforward - like,"I have 4 hundreds, 2 tens, and 5 ones. Who am I?" Each day, the problems got trickier, and definitely required students to think critically.
For instance: I am 65. I have 25 ones. How many tens do I have?
I have 4 hundreds, 12 tens, and 6 ones. Who am I?
I am 258. I have 68 ones and 0 hundreds. How many tens do I have?
Different strategies were used, including drawing pictures of base ten blocks. Even children who are doing straight computations in their books with ease struggled a bit with some of these. We worked together through all of the problems that gave some of us trouble, and CELEBRATED the fact the making mistakes is natural, necessary, and a route to true understanding.
Some children liked making up some spicy problems of their own. I wonder if they will make up one for you?