Mr. R’s challenges

September 20th 2018

Wow! 8 challenges for me already, varying from cards to board games to action games. Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 pupils shared poems in assembly, and I shared a poem about a pizza.

I’d like you to design me a pizza. Winning design will get made, and hopefully eaten!

September 7th 2018

I’ve had a re-think! There will still be Mr. R’s challenges, but I’m adding a new dimension: here’s an opportunity to challenge Mr. R!

I’ve asked the children to challenge me to a game (non-electronic and non-computer). Next week, I’m looking forward to playing Top Trumps, Spot and Guess Who. Of course, I will be keeping score, so watch this space!

June 12th 2018

The World Cup is almost upon us, so here is a country challenge:

You need a list of the 32 countries taking part, because your challenge is to discover how many vowels exist in the countries that are competing. Good luck!

May 9th 2018

I actually washed my car at the weekend, but soaked myself first! I held my empty bucket under the tap, turned the tap on fully and water shot up at me. However, when my bucket was half full, I no longer got wet. How can you explain this. I think a picture or diagram would help, as well as your reasoning.

April 17th 2018

During assembly, I talked to the children about perseverance. It is often celebrated within school, but this time I had a tale to tell about the holidays. To cut to the chase, your challenge is to calculate how much time I spent travelling, by foot and rail on Easter Monday. Here are the important details:

™7.30 a.m – 8.00 a.m Walk from Holmfirth to Brockholes

™8.36 a.m – 8.49 a.m (Brockholes to Huddersfield)

™8.56 a.m – 9.32 a.m (Huddersfield to Manchester)

™9.46 a.m – 10.32 a.m (Manchester to Preston)

™10.58 a.m – 12.05 p.m (Preston to Carlisle)

™5.33 p.m – 7.21 p.m (Carlisle to Manchester)

™7.42 p.m – 8.29 p.m (Manchester to Huddersfield)

™8.29 p.m – 8.42 p.m (Huddersfield to Brockholes)

™8.45 – 9.15 p.m Walk from Brockholes to Holmfirth

March 29th 2018

I guess it has to be all about eggs, so here goes:

Mrs Choy spent exactly £10 on 100 eggs for her shop.
Large eggs cost her 50p each.
Medium eggs cost her 10p each.
Small eggs cost her 5p each.
For two of the sizes, she bought the same number of eggs.
How many of each size did she buy?

March 12th 2018

Recently, we raised £27.40 with our 5p collection jar.

How many 5ps were placed down the tube?

February 16th 2018

Well done! 29 was the correct answer!

We move onto World Book Day, which is Thursday 1st March. You must use the numbers in these stories to get as close as you can to a target number.

The numbers you need are:

The number of little pigs

The number of bears that Goldilocks visited.

The number of thieves (Ali Baba)

The number of ugly sisters.

The number of dwarfs

The number of years that Sleeping Beauty slept.

Your target number is 51. You may use the 4 rules of number.

February 1st 2018

A couple of special songs were shared in assembly, which held significant meaning. It was lovely to hear of such associations.

This time, from a story in assembly, we are trying to determine the number of colours in Joseph’s coat, as we discovered that life is full of ups and downs!

January 10th 2018

New Year, new challenges!

Challenge 1: During the holidays, I was out running and spotted a crow. It got me thinking about the phrase, “as the crow flies.” Do other birds not fly in a straight line? What’s the story behind the phrase? You could make one up!

Challenge 2: As shared in assembly, “Sweet Caroline” has musical meaning for me. Do you have a song or piece of music that has special significance? I’m intrigued to discover more!

December 7th 2017

Today, in assembly, we sang “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” How many legs does the song involve? There could be more than one correct answer, so make sure that you explain your choice. I look forward to your solutions.

November 30th 2017

It’s back, not by popular demand, but because I have a fresh stash of maltesers!

Year 4 pupils were exploring factors, attempting to discover which 2 digit number had the most. The pupils discovered that 60 (1×60, 2×30, 3×20, 4×15, 5×12,6×10) had 12 factors. Is this the only 2 digit number to have 12 factors? What do you notice?

October 5th 2017

Wow! some amazing responses, with some poetry thrown in too.

Here’s a conundrum:

Our 12 teachers at Nabb are:

Miss Robinson, Mrs Price, Miss Whitfield, Miss Clayton, Mrs Formby, Mrs Mcloughlin, Miss Stables, Mrs Worsley. Mrs Perrons, Mrs Turner, Mrs Tobin and Mr Warrener.

If you had to put them in groups of 3 or 4 or 6, how would you do it. who would be in each group and why? What is your reasoning for your groupings?


September 21st 2017

Well done Roman and Alice for your predictions, results and explanations. We have some top scientists amongst us!

This week, we move to spelling, which has been inspired by Archie, during a reading session this week. What strategies do you have to help you spell? Are there particular tricks you know and use? Don’t be late for the choco!

September 8th 2017

Welcome back!


The kettles in the staffroom have been bubbling away, with teachers frantically making a well deserved cuppa. It got me thinking. Does the amount of water make any difference to the speed of boiling. If so, why? I look forward to your findings.

June 22nd 2017

I think we were all staggered by Mrs D’s findings!

This time, I would you like you to think about Monday’s story, “The Butterfly Man.” How have you changed this year? What have you got better at? How? What’s made the difference?

June 8th 2017

This challenge belongs to Mrs D: in an effort to keep our school beautifully tidy, Mrs D picked up several items from classroom floors. She would like to know the value of these items. The box has gone all around school for pupils to see. Make an estimate!

May 19th 2017

I was very impressed with the adjectives, fronted adverbials and punctuation that made my sentence so much better.

This week, I’d like you to have a go at this:

May 10th 2017

Congratulations to Kasey and Linsey for solving the birthday puzzle; congratulations to Alice for her cloud thoughts.

This week, I’d like you to improve this simple sentence:

The dog ran.

You might include adjectives, adverbs, fronted adverbials, expanded noun phrases, similes and metaphors. Make it stand out!

April 27th 2017

Harry, in Year 5, has posed a challenge for you this time. He says:

If the heat of the sun evaporates water, why is it that in the Summer we see less rain and less cloud?

Do you agree with Harry?

I think that diagrams could be very useful for this one!March 29th 2017

Today is my son’s birthday! He is one half of my age. Eighteen years ago he was one quarter of my age. How old is he today?

March 23rd 2017

We had some very interesting wishes granted last week. Well done all!

After this week’s assembly, it’s time to consider if you’ve ever felt like Alfred. How did you cope? What was your reaction?

March 10th 2017

A record haul of contributions! Well done all for your explanations, drawings and models. We loved seeing and hearing about your ideas in assembly.

This week, Mr. R’s challenge is all about wishes and follows the Wish Camel story in assembly. If you could sit on the Wish Camel, what would be your 3 wishes? Why would you have these wishes? You might like to think about personal wishes, wishes for friends and family, the school and the wider world. As ever, let your imaginative juices flow!

March 1st 2017

Wow! What a wealth of answers, explaining Freddie’s question. Congratulations to you all for such wonderful explanations, in the form of words and diagrams.

This week sees World Book Day. Which 3 book characters would you like to spend the day with? Why? I’m looking forward to your reasoning.

February 9th 2017

Online safety has been even higher on our agenda this week: Georgia, Ula, Jessica and Amber produced some very useful literature, offering advice about sensible internet use.

This week, my challenge belongs to Freddie. he wants to know how birds keep warm with only a set of feathers for protection. Answers can be written, drawn or presented in any way that you see fit, apart from tweeting!

February 2nd 2017

Well done to Alice, Anna, Sol and Georgia for their super puzzling. next week brings Internet Safety Day. You could create a song / slogan / poster /poem about staying safe online. I look forward to your efforts.

January 20th 2017

Wow! Mrs. D now knows so much about igloos, thanks to Rosa, Olivia, Lois and Elaenor, who provided some excellent explanations.

I was thinking: There are 52 weeks in a year, so does that mean there are always 52 Mondays? If not, do we ever get more or less, and why is that?

As always, I look forward to your thoughts.

January 13th 2017

Congratulations to Lily (Y2), Isaac (Y4), Ava (Y5) and Ronnie (y5) for their creative ideas for machinery. All were totally unique!

This week’s challenge has been prompted by the snow. Mrs D has asked why it is that Eskimos can cook in their igloos without the roof melting. Perhaps you could explain your answers with words and pictures, or even build a model (not actual size though, as the office isn’t that roomy!)

January 5th 2017

This challenge stems from assembly. Shereem’s machine was pretty amazing. What would your change machine look like? What would it change? What if you put an apple or a pair of shoes or your pet in the door? What would come out of the tube? You could write a description, draw pictures or even create a model.

December 15th 2016

Here’s one to puzzle over:

In the song, “Twelve Days of Christmas” just how many legs are there?

Happy Christmas puzzling!

December 1st 2016

Congratulations to Anna, Archie and Elissa!

Take a look at this:

Click to access One%20of%20Thirty-six.pdf

Use the example to create your very own problem. Perhaps you could ask me to solve it!

November 23rd 2016

I’ve noticed quite a bit of work on shape this week, so here are a couple of puzzles to try. Read the statements and decide if they are always true, sometimes true or never true.

November 4th 2016

Congratulations to:

Maisie, Orla, Amber, Eve, Isaac, Katy and Niamh for some fantastic designs and models.

This week, the answer is any number between 1 and 10. How many different questions can you create to give this answer? Think as widely and creatively as you can!

November 1st 2016

This challenges stems from assembly, in which we heard the story of the magic helter skelter. The challenge is to design a new fairground ride. It could be a combination of rides or a new invention. You can write, draw or make a model of your design.

October 17th 2016

As half term approaches, I thought it would be the ideal opportunity to set up a few games. Try some of these in the link below and bring in / email a photograph of yourself playing the game. Maybe you can think about winning strategies too!

September 28th 2016

Jude and Elissa were hot on the trail last week. This week, consider the following:

Choose a number (10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50)

Make your target number in as many ways as possible by using 3 different numbers and 3 different symbols (6×3+2)

Make your target number in as many ways as possible by using 4 different numbers and 3 different symbols (3×7+4-5)

How about 5 different numbers and 4 different symbols?

September 19th

There are two challenges:

The first is from assembly – Are you able to create your own pattern of nouns and adjectives?

The second is about similarities and difference. Consider 123 and 246. How are they similar? How are they different. List as many ideas as possible. Be creative!

September 15th 2016

Congratulations to Isaac, Eve and Elissa, who produced some excellent examples of medal allocation.

This week, our challenge will follow on from next Monday’s assembly, so watch this space…

September 8th 2016

Our assemblies have an Olympic theme at the moment, so here’s one to consider:

In the 2016 Olympics, Team GB won 3 medals for horse riding. How many different combinations can you find for these 3 medals? What if they were the same colour? What if they were a mix of colours?

5 medals were won in rowing. How many combinations here?

6 medals were achieved in gymnastics. How many combinations here?

What if we had won 4 medals at swimming? Can you predict the number of combinations?

It’s good to draw / talk /explain / share.

Podium at the ready!

June 17th 2016

Well done, Elissa. You are the queen’s knickers! This week, it’s all about football. A football game lasts 90 minutes.It is a game of halves, but what if it were split into thirds or quarters or fifths and so on. How long would each segment be? Describe any patterns that you see.

June 10th 2016

This week, we have been designing a pair of knickers for the Queen, in honour of her 90th birthday. What if the queen had a pair of stripey knickers with 4 colours? How many pairs of different knickers could she have, using the same 4 colours, but in a different stripe order?

May 26th 2016

Odds and evens is still running, but in Monday’s assembly I asked the children to think about questions, following the story of the Queen who had a headache. So, what are the best mathematical questions?

May 20th 2016

Hats off to Orla, Amber and Elissa once again for their mathematical reasoning.

This week, I would like you to explore odd numbers and even numbers. What happens when you add / subtract / multiply / divide odd numbers. What about even numbers? What about a mix of odd and even? Does it make a difference if you have 2 odd numbers / 3 odd numbers? Explore! Investigate! Ask questions!

May 13th 2016

Congratulations to Elanor, Elissa, Amber and Orla for some great explanations. The maltesers are in the bag. This week, see how many possible answers you can get for this:

May 6th 2016

Congratulations to Elisaa, Penny H and Amber for their calculations.

This week it’s about preference. Take a look:

Would you rather…?

April 28th

The usual suspects continue to impress. Drawings and explanations  were expertly presented. I was delighted to hear the reasoning skills behind the solutions.

Try this one:

Today’s date is 28.4.16

Using the numbers 2, how many different totals can you make? Can you make all numbers to 50? Which is the highest total that you can make?  Is it easier to make odd or even numbers? You can use all 4 rules, so explore!

April 22nd

Elissa kept her 100% record going and was joined by Maja. Great work, girls!

This week, it’s time to go wild!

April 14th 2016

New term, new challenge! This one is all about trying out different possibilities.

Good luck!

March 24th 2016

Sylvia, Georgia and Elissa were hot on the trail, once again, with some excellent visual representations. Time to play games over the Easter period by having a go at this puzzle:

Have fun!

March 17th 2016

Georgia, Sylvia, Edie, Ruby, Elissa and Jude combined to scoop this week’s prize!

For the final flourish, explore these:

Happy Puzzling!

March 10th 2016

There is no stopping Elissa! I loved her use of drawings and photographs to show her thinking.

This week, it’s time to think combinations. You could also use H, T and U as well as T and U. (KS1) (KS2)

March 2nd 2016

Financially astute females, Orla and Elissa, demonstrated and explained the money bag principle with great clarity and confidence.

This week, celebrating World Book Day, we have a story theme. You can change the number to suit you. Try 30 or 50 legs to begin with.

I’m looking forward to your solutions.

February 24th 2016

Wow! Elissa, Lola and Jude pulled out all the stops to solve the handshake puzzle. I loved their use of drawing to explain how it all worked.

this time, we’re into conjecturing and generalising! Have a look at the links below:

My conjecture is that I’m going to need more maltesers!

February 11th 2016

Some great thinking from Summer, Izaak, Emily and Melissa, who came up with many different combinations, demonstrating methodical organisation and creativity.

For half term, here’s something to consider:

Mr. Rose teams up with 7 of his friends. They all shake hands with each other before heading off to the football match. How many handshakes are made? If each handshake lasts 20 seconds, and only one handshake happens at once, how long will the handshaking take?

You might like to draw your solutions.

You might like to consider a different number of friends (3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10). Are there any patterns to notice?

Make sure your answers reach Mr. R in the first week back, after half term. Your maltesers come with a free handshake!

January 29th 2016

Congratulations to a group of Year 3 boys, who not only had answers to the frog puzzle, but demonstrated the process with ICT. More of this, on the main site, to come.

This week, it’s all about possibilities. Take 3 or 4 consecutive numbers (numbers which are next to each other e.g. 5, 6, 7 and 8). How many different totals can you make by adding, subtracting, multiplying and even dividing. What are your findings? As ever, the maltesers are on ice!

January 21st 2016

Congratulations to Eleanor, for her brilliant demonstration of the way to check a domino set.  She even took the investigation further with a self-challenge! A well-deserved winner!

This week, take a look at the following:

January 7th 2016

Congratulations to Rob and Martha, who worked very systematically to solve the problem. Their explanation was most impressive.

This week, take a look at the following: (Key Stage 1) (Key Stage 2)

December 17th 2015

Well done to  several pupils for solving the Zios and Zepts puzzle. The Christmas teaser is:     (Key Stage1)      (Key Stage 2)

Happy puzzling!

Last week’s teaser winner was Miranda. This week, it’s that opportunity to trial and improve. Could there be more than one answer? How did you go about it? Answers to Mr. R by Tuesday 15th December.