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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Investigations

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Fencing Lambs

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.

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Lawn Border

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each time?

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My New Patio

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?

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Great Squares

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could measure lengths, areas and angles.

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Making Squares

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5 grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?

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Fit These Shapes

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Tiles on a Patio

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?

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Olympic Rings

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

This problem is intended to get children to look really hard at something they will see many times in the next few months.

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Fencing

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.

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Halving

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

These pictures show squares split into halves. Can you find other ways?

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Making Boxes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?

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Two Squared

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?

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Sticky Triangles

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?

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Calcunos

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

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Newspapers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?

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Triangle Relations

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?

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Extending Great Squares

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Explore one of these five pictures.

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Polygonals

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.

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Tiles in the Garden

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?

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Tiling Into Slanted Rectangles

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.

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Count the Digits

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s, 3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?

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Marvellous Matrix

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Follow the directions for circling numbers in the matrix. Add all the circled numbers together. Note your answer. Try again with a different starting number. What do you notice?

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Tea Cups

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.

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Tiling

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.

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Cutting it Out

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about the relationship between them?

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28 and It's Upward and Onward

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are visible?

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2 Rings

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

The red ring is inside the blue ring in this picture. Can you rearrange the rings in different ways? Perhaps you can overlap them or put one outside another?

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More Transformations on a Pegboard

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.

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Ice Cream

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.

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Halloween Investigation

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?

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Cubes

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate the number of faces you can see when you arrange three cubes in different ways.

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The Great Tiling Count

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in Cambridge.

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Street Party

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.

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Lost Books

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?

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3 Rings

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Troublesome Triangles

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .

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Cubes Here and There

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Number Squares

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?

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Birds in the Garden

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This activity asks you to collect information about the birds you see in the garden. Are there patterns in the data or do the birds seem to visit randomly?

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Baked Bean Cans

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets do? How high can you safely stack the cans?

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Hexpentas

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?

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Sticks and Triangles

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Little Boxes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?

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Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.

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So It's 28

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Here is your chance to investigate the number 28 using shapes, cubes ... in fact anything at all.

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Play a Merry Tune

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds. What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you are given?

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Sending and Receiving Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?

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Division Rules

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.

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Let's Investigate Triangles

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Repeating Patterns

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create your own repeating pattern?