There is a special number in each of these envelopes.

When you get your envelope, open it and find out what your number is.

This number is the solution to a maths problem that YOU make up.

What is your problem?

Students are challenged to create their own number problems. This can require a deeper understanding than solving a given problem.

Some students may simply suggest an equation. Some may be able to confidently embed an equation in a story context, and other students might readily suggest contextual problems that involve several steps, or a range of operations.

This open problem has students use their imaginations to create word problems of their own and to apply the mathematics that they are learning.

A series of similar problems span Level 1 to Level 5. These problems are Make Up Your Own, Level 2, Invent-A-Problem, Level 3, Create a Question, Level 4, and Working Backwards, Level 5.

You may find that this serves as a useful assessment task.

### The Problem

There is a special number in each of these envelopes.

When you get your envelope, open it and find out what your number is.

This number is the solution to a maths problem that YOU make up.

What is your problem?

### Teaching sequence

There are many ways to have your students create their own problems for others to solve.

This is just one possible way to consider.

Use numbers on the copymaster or write ones that better suit your students.

- Tell the students that their challenge is to create some mathematics problems.
- Ask the students to give you a number. Have them to make up a problem using that number as the answer.
- Read and explain the task. Check that it is understood.
- Have them work singly or in groups to create problems of their own. If they produce a sum, product, difference or quotient rather than a problem, have them to find other ways to make up that number or help them to craft a word problem.
- As students write their problems have them put them into an envelope for later use.
- Those students who finish quickly might like to try to write another problem or solve someone else’s problem.
- Pose some of the students’ problems from the sealed envelopes for the whole class to solve.
- You might like to keep some of these problems to use with the class over the next few weeks. You might have students identify the best problem, the funniest problem, and so on.

### Solution

The solutions here will depend on your class.