Have you got change?

The other day I was asked if I could change a 50 pence piece. I had more than 50 pence in coins in my pocket but I could not make exactly 50 pence.

Can you find several ways this could happen?

What is the largest amount I could have had in my pocket?

 This activity is suitable for pupils of mathematics all around the world. Use the button below to change the currency used to make it more relevant to your pupils. You may wish to choose an unfamiliar currency to extend your pupils' experience.

Investigate further.....

Investigations Home

Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments.

A mathematical investigation is quite different to other mathematical activities. The best investigations are open ended and allow students to choose the way they work and how they record their findings. It is one of the few occasions when 'going off on a tangent' is not only acceptable but actively encouraged (within reason).

Students may ask for 'the answers' but this supposes that the activity is closed. Investigations can always be extended by varying the initial instructions or asking the question 'what if...?'. Sometimes students point out that the instructions are ambiguous and can be interpreted in different ways. This is fine and the students are encouraged to explain how they interpreted the instructions in their report.

Some students may benefit from a writing frame when producing the reports of their investigations. Teachers may suggest sections or headings such as Introduction, Interpretation, Research, Working and Conclusion or something similar.

Here are some other activities you may be interested in:

ChrisMaths

Christmas activities make those December Maths lessons interesting, exciting and relevant. If students have access to computers there are some online activities to keep them engaged such as Christmas Ornaments and Christmas Light Up.

Xmas Colouring

Colour in the Christmas picture according to the properties of the numbers. So far this activity has been accessed 4647 times and 246 people have earned a Transum Trophy for completing it.

Teacher's notes for this investigation and solutions to Transum puzzles, exercises and activities are available when you are signed in to your Transum subscription account. If you do not yet have an account and you are a teacher, tutor or parent you can apply for one by completing the form on the Sign Up page.