I have to write some practice questions, or toy problems for some students in the age range 11 to 14. This is for a workshop I will be running. The students are encouraged to work on these questions in downtime, at points that they are not able to progress with their core project (Robot building). This is likely to happen when programs are downloading or they are waiting for a tool to become available. They are well motivated and smart kids.

I have never written this sort of thing before. I'm not really sure what the do's and don'ts are. Here is one of my attempts:

A question with answer box

Its supposed to be on topic and self contained. The maths should be very easy, the challenge is to figure out how the formula should be used. I think they have probably seen this formula before. The story is crudely robot themed.

The next question is of a similar nature and follows the story of the first:

question 2

Do these questions seem reasonable to you? How would you improve them? Are there any question writing rules I should keep in mind?

  • $\begingroup$ Hope this is on topic. If you think it should be somewhere else I'm happy to move it. $\endgroup$
    – Clumsy cat
    Jul 28, 2017 at 8:54

1 Answer 1


Few thoughts (with practice, short bursts of time and question writing rules in mind):

  • First question is text heavy. It need not be too explanatory unless you do want to teach a few things through the question.

  • No need to mention anything about acceleration in the first question.

  • First question can be further broken down into two questions. First part can be just about calculating velocity to go to front desk and come back. Scaffolding is always a good idea.

Not sure what is the scope of this workshop. Maybe you can think of gradually taking the question towards introducing velocity and acceleration as vectors (why the negative sign will matter).


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