Monday, February 23, 2015

# St. Patrick Day Math Challenge (with a Free Printable)

We are approaching St. Patrick’s Day, and all those gold coins made me think of math. So today I am offering 5 “math challenge” problems with a theme of St Patrick's Day and a free printable.

## Beyond Common Core in Math

A few months ago I shared our approach to math at home. Last year our mathematically inclined second grader “accelerated” herself in math to the middle of the fifth grade using Khan Academy. Then.. topics got harder and she lost interest. I didn’t push her to go further, but instead invited her to dive deeper in math with math books, board games, and intermittent forays into computer programming.  I am often trying to tie math to daily problems, but for St Patrick’s Day I put together a special challenge of 5 math problems for her to solve.
It’s hard for me to say with confidence what grade would be the best fit in your family as I tried to vary difficulty of the problems. I expect Smarty to solve the first 3 easily and put a decent effort for problem #4. We tried to tackle problem #5 last year by by setting it up for hands-on math investigation, but I don’t expect her to solve all variations of it. In fact, my husband once spent hours trying to prove to me that this problem has no solution :)

## 5 St Patrick Math Problems for Grade 2-5

### 1. Find the leprechaun

Where is the leprechaun?
A. In the circle and in the triangle, but not in the square
B. In the circle and in the square, but not in the triangle
C. In the triangle and in the square, but not in the circle
D. In the circle, but not in the square and not in the triangle
E. In the square, but not in the circle and not in the triangle

### 2. Lucky Sean

Sean O’Brien is trying his luck rolling a dice. He rolled a dice 4 times and got a total of 23 points. How many times did he roll 6 dots?

### 3. Four Leaf Clover Hunt

Shannon, Niamh, and Mary go searching for four-leaf clovers. Each of them found a different number of clovers, but each of them found at least one four-leaf clover. Shannon collected the least, and Niamh collected the most. How many four leaf clovers did Mary find?

### 4. Building a Rainbow

The rainbow has an infinite number of colors in it, but when we draw it, some people draw it with 7 colors, and some draw it with 6 colors. Chloe has a set of rainbow blocks with 7 colors, and Ryan has a set of rainbow blocks with 6 colors. They both set out to try all possible block towers using all their blocks but making sure that every color combination is different from the one before. How many more towers can Chloe build with her blocks?

### 5. Leprechaun Gold

A leprechaun left you 12 gold coins. Unfortunately one of them is fake, and you don’t know whether it is lighter or heavier than a real coin. He also left you a balance scale and challenged you to find a fake coin by doing no more than 3 weighings. If you cannot do that, the coins will magically disappear. Can you find a solution?

## Solutions

I put them here in case you are stumped :)
1-B, 2-3, 3-2, 4-4320, 5- see full solution here.

Are you a math lover or a math hater?

## More Math for Kids?

Follow Natalie Planet Smarty Pants's board Math on Pinterest.

## 2015 After School Link Up Hosts

Ticia said...

I love the problems you came up with. I think we might well be trying these out.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Emma is going to love these! Thanks for the printable.

lindseyk said...

Brilliant idea :-) may get my little girl to try these! #weloveweekends