Data Problem Solving
This is a set of resources for a problem-solving activity for pupils. Pupils are asked to work out a shift rota for workers in ‘Clare’s Café’ by balancing the needs of the café with the individual workers’ needs.

The resources include:
  • A video outlining the problem and the constraints
  • A script to use with pupils who would like to make their own video
  • A set of prompt cards with information about the café and its workers
  • An Excel spreadsheet for pupils to record a weekly rota
  • Teaching notes for the activity.
Year 7 Objectives covered:
  • Identify the necessary information to understand or simplify a context or problem.
  • Represent problems, making correct use of symbols, words, diagrams, tables and graphs; use appropriate procedures and tools, including ICT.
  • Interpret information from a mathematical representation or context; relate findings to the original context; check the accuracy of the solution; explain and justify methods and conclusions; compare and evaluate approaches
  • Communicate own findings effectively, orally and in writing, and discuss and compare approaches and results with others; recognise equivalent approaches
Pupils rarely have the opportunity to process data into anything other than graphs, especially in unfamiliar contexts. In this example they are given a problem to solve which could be done on a spreadsheet, where there is no exact answer, only a best-fit solution.

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