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Flowerbeds 1 of 4

Year 8: Mathematics Key Homework Term 2

Name: _______________ Form: _______ Teacher: ______

Hand this on or before:________________

This homework is designed to give students the opportunity to use and apply Mathematics
previously learnt to solve a more complex problem.

Please remember to start this as soon as it is set so that you have enough time to
ask for help if you need it.

You will be trying to find a connection between the number of flowerbeds in a garden and
the number of paving slabs needed to surround each bed. Ideally you will be able to say
how many paving slabs will be needed provided you know how many flowerbeds there are.

Here is a plan of a garden. In the design, each flowerbed (the shaded squares) needs to
be surrounded by paving slabs (the white squares). Each paving slab is exactly the same
size as the flowerbed it surrounds.

This plan shows:

1 row of 3 flowerbeds.
You need:
18 slabs to complete the design.

Key Homework Task:

Investigate how many slabs will be needed to complete the design for any
given arrangement (by rows and number) of flowerbeds.

Additional help can be obtained for this keyhomework from

http://www.mymaths.co.uk/gold/at1/gardens.html (Login: Trafalgar; Password: Turn)
Students must, however, hand in a written copy of their investigation for assessment.
Flowerbeds 2 of 4

How to organise your investigation:

1. On squared paper, draw the simplest garden design (1 row of 1 flowerbed).

How many slabs are needed to complete the design?

2. On squared paper, develop the design systematically eg 1 row of 2 flowerbeds, 1 row

of 3 flowerbeds. How many slabs are needed to complete each design?

3. Record your findings systematically.

Draw a table like this one to help you: (Level 4)
Number of rows Number of flowerbeds Number of paving slabs
in the row
1 1
3 18

4. Plot your results the attached graph (Level 4)

The first one is plotted for you. Remember to complete the graph title.

5. Join your points up with a straight line. (Level 4)

Remember to extend the line beyond your points

6. What have you noticed? Can you write a rule in words? (Level 5)

7. If R = the number of rows

and F = number of flowerbeds in the row
and P = the number of paving slabs
can you write an algebraic rule?
Can you write one P= and one F= ? (Level 5)

8. Write your rule along the line you drew on the graph paper.
Remember to include the number of rows of flowerbeds eg R=1; Rule:P = …

9. a) Can you use your rule to predict how many paving slabs will be needed for one
row of 8 flowerbeds?
b) Can you use your rule to say how many flowerbeds are in one row if you need
33 paving slabs?
c) Can you use your graph to check your answers? (Level 5)

10. Extend your investigation to flowerbeds arranged in a different number of rows

(steps 1 to 9). Make sure you extend your investigation systematically eg. Find the
pattern for 2 rows, then 3 rows etc. (Level 6)
Flowerbeds 3 of 4

11. As you extend your investigation, can you see a pattern between the number of rows
and the rule for finding the number of paving slabs?
Can you predict what the rule will be when you add the next row? State what you
predict then check it.

12. Can you find a general rule (and show that it works) that links the number of rows
with the number of flowerbeds in the row (F) and the number of paving slabs (P)
needed? (level 7)

13. What do you notice about the line graphs you have drawn?
Hint: what is the same and what is different about the lines (level 6)

14. Can you explain why your rule works? (level 7)

15. Can you spot a special pattern when the number of flowerbeds is the same as the
number of rows? Can you explain it? Can you write the rule in two different ways
and explain why they are the same? (level 8)
Flowerbeds 4 of 4

Description Level Achieved Achieved

Peer Teacher
I have 3
• drawn some flowerbed designs
• written down the number of paving
slabs needed for some of them
I have: 4
• correctly drawn a table and filled in
the correct number of flowerbeds
and paving slabs of each of the
designs drawn.
• Plotted results on the graph
I have: 5
• found a rule linking the number of
flowerbeds and paving slabs.
• Written my rule in algebra
• Shown that my rule works
• Predicted what the results would be
for a new design.
• Used my graph to check my
I have: 6
• extended the problem and found
more rules for designs with
different number of rows.
• Commented on the graphs of my
I have: 7
• found a rule linking R, F and P
• explained why the rule works
I have: 8
• explained rule linking R, F and P in a
special situation and seen the
equivalence of two expressions.

Student’s and Parent’s Comment:


Peer Comment:


Teacher Comment: