# "Flexible"

Gabby is 4 years old. After listening to Chelsea’s story, “Coming, Ready or Not!” her mum wrote to share their experience. Here is what Emma said, “Gabby particularly liked Chelsea’s use of flexible thinking, as it is something she is learning about and practising during playtimes with friends.”

Exploring options is a skill worth pursuing. Even in mathematics, there can be various ways to arrive at a target number. I love watching the TV show, Letters and Numbers, especially the number challenges. Sometimes three different options are given to arrive at a randomly generated answer, using the four rules of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Even though mathematics is either right or wrong, there could be a number of different ways to reach a solution. Let’s consider the following numbers.

The numbers are: 3 75 6 2 5

The target number is: 23

Like the rules on Letters and Numbers, a solution does not have to use all the numbers, but each number can only be used once to arrive at the answer. Here are five solutions that follow these rules. Each is valid.

Pursuing options requires a number of different thinking skills; like asking new questions, connecting the dots, visualising different scenarios.

I wonder what good idea Gabby thought about today. Emma concluded her email, saying, “Maybe I should get out our safari animals and recreate some of the stories together.” Now that’s a great idea. In fact, for those who have already purchased the stories, a Readers’ Theatre is available upon request.

In Stephanie Tolan’s words, my stories are a welcome expansion of her cheetah metaphor. To complement these, I’ve compiled some puzzles/activities that may interest these children. They come directly from my books or require some general knowledge. The first puzzle answers and the new puzzle are here. **Click here to download the puzzle.**

*Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre at hesc.co.za/species-hesc/king-cheetah accessed on 31st Oct 2017.*

*Thompson, Alan D. People like me. CreateSpace, 2017.*

*Tolan, Stephanie S. Is It a Cheetah? 1996. Web. 31st October, 2017.*

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