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Captain Quint


Topic:Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, percentages, statistics, measurement


Question:Did Captain Quint and his crew make it round the world in 50 days?

Author:Anne de A’Echevarria

This mystery maps to the maths curriculum. Specifically:

*Number – addition and subtraction
*Number – multiplication and division
*Number – fractions (including percentages)

Although the calculation involved in Captain Quint requires precision, the task is open-ended and provides scope for pupils to come up with and justify more than one possible scenario.

The mystery will challenge pupils to decide and justify to each other, which operations and methods they need to use to solve a multistep problem. As well as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, some calculations also involve fractions and knowledge of percentage and fraction equivalents. Pupils will need to interpret information in tables, graphs and maps and be able to compare and calculate different measures, involving capacity and distance over time.

It could be used diagnostically within the maths curriculum to assess pupils’ confidence in recognising and applying these concepts.

There are three difficulty levels to this mystery. Easy has 20 slips, medium has 25 slips and hard has 26. As a guide, we suggest it is most suitable for 10-11 year olds.

* To add and subtract numbers both mentally or with a calculator (as appropriate); to multiply and divide numbers up to 4 digits by one- or two-digit numbers using a formal written method, calculator or mentally (as appropriate) – all within a multi-step problem, deciding which operations and methods to use and why.

* To multiply proper fractions by whole numbers; use knowledge of percentage and fraction equivalents.

* To read and interpret information in tables and graphs including calculating and interpreting the mean as an average.

* To compare and calculate different measures, involving capacity (ml), and distance over time (mph/knots).

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