Pancake Day

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Instructions More Puzzles


Drag this handle to use the spatula to toss the pancakes.

Toss the pancakes until they are neatly stacked in order of size with the largest at the bottom. Drag the spatula between two pancakes to toss all of the pancakes above the spatula.

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This is Pancake Day level 1. You can also try:
Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5

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Mathematicians are not the people who find Maths easy; they are the people who enjoy how mystifying, puzzling and hard it is. Are you a mathematician?

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by S Mirza, Park High School, Colne:

"Very good starters, help pupils settle very well in maths classroom."

Comment recorded on the 9 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Liz, Kuwait:

"I would like to thank you for the excellent resources which I used every day. My students would often turn up early to tackle the starter of the day as there were stamps for the first 5 finishers. We also had a lot of fun with the fun maths. All in all your resources provoked discussion and the students had a lot of fun."

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Learning and understanding Mathematics, at every level, requires learner engagement. Mathematics is not a spectator sport. Sometimes traditional teaching fails to actively involve students. One way to address the problem is through the use of interactive activities and this web site provides many of those. The Go Maths main page links to more activities designed for students in upper Secondary/High school.


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Monday, September 17, 2018

"The topic of pancake numbers is the subject of the only well-known mathematics paper by Microsoft founder Bill Gates (as William Gates). The paper was titled Bounds for Sorting by Prefix Reversal and was published in 1979. It describes an efficient algorithm for pancake sorting."

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Spatula Spatula Spatula

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The objective is to stack all of the pancakes in order with the largest at the bottom and the smallest at the top. To do this drag the spatula down the page then insert it carefully between any two pancakes or below the bottom pancake. When you release your mouse button all of the pancakes above the spatula will be tossed, which in this case means they will be turned over so their order will be reversed. Continue the process until you have the ordered stack.

Level 1 - The 4 pancake puzzle.

Level 2 - The 5 pancake puzzle.

Level 3 - The 6 pancake puzzle.

Level 4 - The 7 pancake puzzle.

Level 5 - The 8 pancake puzzle.

Extension activity: Work out the smallest number of tosses required to order a stack of pancakes regardless of how much they are initially mixed up.

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Read more about Pancake Numbers in the excellent book Casebook of Mathematical Mysteries by Professor Ian Stewart