Fifty toes

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This problem solving activity has a number (multiplication and division) focus.

Achievement Objectives
NA1-1: Use a range of counting, grouping, and equal-sharing strategies with whole numbers and fractions.
Student Activity
Decorative image of feet.


Sam likes counting toes.

How many people does he need before he can count 50 different toes?


Specific Learning Outcomes
  • Count in 10's to 50.
  • Devise and use problem solving strategies (act it out, draw a picture).
Description of Mathematics

This problem involves counting by 10s. This is a fundamental skill to develop as our number system is based on groups of ten.

Another context for this problem could be how many 10c coins to get 50 cents? 


The Problem

Sam likes counting toes. How many people does he need before he can count 50 different toes?

Teaching Sequence

  1. Get the students to guess the subject of the problem by giving clues: you have 10 of these, you often can't see them...
  2. Read the problem to the class.
  3. Discuss ways that the problem could be solved. Allow time for the students to think before getting ideas from the class. You could model and practise counting in 10s as a class before asking students to work on the problem.
  4. Reinforce the counting in 10's as you circulate while the students work on the problem. Ask the students to show you how they are keeping track of their counting in 10's.
  5. Share solutions.


This activity could be extended to skip counting in 5s. (5..10..15..20..25..30..35..40..45..50).


5 (10..20..30..40..50).

50Toes.pdf151.87 KB
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Level One