The teacher thinks of a four digit number made up of digits in the range 1 to 4. Each student guesses what the four digit number might be. The teacher gives one tick for each digit the student has in the right place. What number is the teacher thinking of?
Rachel : 4443  Lily : 1321 
Megan : 3124  Kaylee : 4423 
Jennifer : 4121  Angelina : 4421 
Makayla : 4124  Allison : 4432 
Brooke : 3113  Maria : 2123 
Trinity : 2222  Lillian : 4233 
Mackenzie : 2121  Faith : 2134 
Sofia : 2244  Riley : 4143 
Haley : 2332  Gabrielle : 2121 
Nicole : 4331  Kylie : 4441 
Note for Teacher: All of the students guesses above will probably not fit on the screen at the same time. You may wish to keep the lower guesses hidden so as not to make the activity too easy.
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Topics: Starter  Logic  Puzzles
Y5/6 working hard on the @Transum starter of the day. Fabulous maths reasoning and thinking skills. We love maths! pic.twitter.com/erhZztb4Nc
— Red Hill Field PS (@redhillfield) May 27, 2016
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Note to teacher: Doing this activity once with a class helps students develop strategies. It is only when they do this activity a second time that they will have the opportunity to practise those strategies. That is when the learning is consolidated. Click a button above to regenerate another version of this starter from random numbers. There is a choice of three levels; easy, medium and hard.
Advanced: Finding a unique solution may not be possible. 

Possible strategy: Make a grid showing the possible digits which could appear in each of the four positions. By looking at the clues which do not have any ticks by them, cross of the digits which can't appear in each position.
There should now be only a limited choice for the correct digits:
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Teacher, do your students have
access to computers? 

Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.
Here is the URL which will take them to a student version of this activity.
Transum.org/go/?to=frustration