We think this 3x3 version of the game is often harder than the 5x5 version. Do you agree? If so, why do you think that might be?
All types of mathematical problems serve a useful purpose in
mathematics teaching, but different types of problem will achieve
different learning objectives. In generalmore open-ended problems
have. . . .
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Sort the houses in my street into different groups. Can you do it in any other ways?
Use your mouse to move the red and green parts of this disc. Can
you make images which show the turnings described?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds.
What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled
triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting
There are three tables in a room with blocks of chocolate on each.
Where would be the best place for each child in the class to sit if
they came in one at a time?
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the
outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you
find for me to take?
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many
different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and
the 2 must not touch the table?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4
units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different
cuboids can you make?
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four
squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other
totals can you make?
Explore one of these five pictures.
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If
the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which
stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
In this investigation, we look at Pascal's Triangle in a slightly different way - rotated and with the top line of ones taken off.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
We went to the cinema and decided to buy some bags of popcorn so we
asked about the prices. Investigate how much popcorn each bag holds
so find out which we might have bought.
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can.
Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets
do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from
interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the
models together then compare your constructions.
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are
you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of
sticks that make the most triangles?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a
go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame
without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you
try the other shapes?
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
In this article for teachers, Bernard gives an example of taking an
initial activity and getting questions going that lead to other
Vincent and Tara are making triangles with the class construction set. They have a pile of strips of different lengths. How many different triangles can they make?
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create
your own repeating pattern?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that
they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can
you investigate all the different possibilities?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?