Category: pattern recognition

jump the frogs

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This activity is explained in further detail here ( and an on-line simulator) This works well, its a problem solving and pattern recognition activity. It will take most students some time to work this out, pupils that work this out should either assist others or start writing down the instructions to complete this problem for n frogs, that is 3 either side or 3 billion, the same method should work. Point them towards starting with one frog each side and then building up to 2, 3, 4 …Also, they should work out the maths to work out the minimum number of moves for n frogs. Explanation of the maths is here

jumping frogs

team dance…

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Pupils choose a theme, for example, ‘dino dance’, the teacher, for ease could decide on the same music for all, playing music to the whole class. Keep routines short – 30 seconds for example. The pupils will create their own short routine, with loops. They must note the sequence for their dance down on paper, in any notation. Groups can perform to each other and the watching groups must try and decompose their dance, describing it (noting on paper). They could then try and recreate the other groups dance…or not!

An activity such as this could be followed up by creating a longer routine with more avatars in software such as Yenka.

knights tour

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This resource is courtesy of Prof. Paul Curzon, Queen Mary University. , specifically

Pupils need a counter, something to act like a knight. The rules are on the sheet though this is the simplest way to approach this activity…again pairing pupils work well. One of the key points of this is how representing a problem visually it can become simpler to understand and thus solve.

  1. hand out sheets and counters, explain tasks. Allow plenty of time to solve. Pupils who finish earlier can be activity gurus and assist others.
  2. next, on a blank piece of paper, pupils should draw a graph (computing graph!) of ALL possible moves from each and every square. They draw each square on the board as a circle then draw a line to another number circle that can be moved to.
  3. At this point, the graph may look messy, so ask them to redraw as clear as they can
  4. pose the question, Is there more than one solution, more than one route. Their hand-drawn graph should enable them to answer this.