# Fun with mathematics: Question 1

Test your children’s problem-solving skills – and your own – with this new weekly series of maths questions presented by Marshall Cavendish Education.

The series will feature a new question each week. The worked solution for that question will be published online at http://str.sg/4eEy on the same day, and in print the following week.

To start off the series, we have provided one question and its solution, as well as a second question to keep your brain juices flowing.

The questions are targeted at students in upper primary, and the worked solutions have been given by Assistant Professor Dr Lee Ngan Hoe, Assistant Head (Mathematics Education – Teaching) of the Mathematics & Mathematics Education Academic Group from the National Institute of Education (NIE) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Dr Lee is also the co-author of Shaping Maths and Maths Works!

1. Try to understand the question first. What is the problem about? What information has been given? What does it mean? What are you supposed to find?

What happens to a number when its decimal point is shifted to the right by one place? What does it mean to say “the difference between the original number and this new number is 7.29”?

2. Work out a plan to solve the problem. What could you try to do?

How could you represent the information? Are there relationships among the pieces of information contained in the problem?

3. Try to make sense of the answer. How comfortable are you with your answer? Is there a way to check it? What have you learnt from solving this problem?

Be systematic when solving an unfamiliar problem. Do not focus too much on whether you can get the answer.

Try to understand the problem and draw on your mathematics knowledge to make sense of it. It is helpful to represent a problem in diagrams to look for relationships.

Avoid being too quick to accept an answer to a problem. Try to see if the answer makes sense and find a way to check your answer.