Friday, August 19, 2011

Making Math Memorable #4

My third graders used to participate in the ShopRite Young Consumers program. In addition to meal planning prior to our trip, students also math practiced games with their parents prior to going to the grocery store and participating in games and shopping there.

One of our favorites is easy to do. It's called the Tower of Hanoi, but we also call them pancake stacks because it's a grocery program. I don't actually have all of the pieces at home, so I am going to improvise and show you how it's done. You can start with between 4-8 circles of different sizes and a large piece of construction paper with stickers or bingo marker dots if you'd like.
Here's the solution. Look below for step by step pictures!

The objective of the puzzle is to move the entire stack to another rod, obeying the following rules:
  • Only one disk may be moved at a time.
  • Each move consists of taking the upper disk from one of the rods and sliding it onto another rod, on top of the other disks that may already be present on that rod.
  • No disk may be placed on top of a smaller disk.
Move 3: 
Move 4: 
Move 5: 
Move 7: 
Move 10:
Move 11: 
Move 12: 
Move 13: 
Move 14: 
Move 15: 

Differentiation: Use less circles to make it easier or more to make it harder; have students time themselves with a stopwatch or count and record how many moves it took to complete the game!

See all Making Math Memorable posts:


  1. This post makes me think of the new planet of the apes movie. :)
    Life with Mrs. L

  2. When i tried to click on the circle disk puzzle it gives me an error message. I think it is a really neat idea. Thanks. My email is