I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about
the relationship between them?
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
Numbers arranged in a square but some exceptional spatial awareness probably needed.
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
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?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
Here are many ideas for you to investigate - all linked with the
Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What
would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
How will you decide which way of flipping over and/or turning the grid will give you the highest total?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Which times on a digital clock have a line of symmetry? Which look
the same upside-down? You might like to try this investigation and
Investigate the numbers that come up on a die as you roll it in the
direction of north, south, east and west, without going over the
path it's already made.
Investigate the different ways these aliens count in this
challenge. You could start by thinking about how each of them would
write our number 7.
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
Bernard Bagnall describes how to get more out of some favourite
When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a
straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?
A description of some experiments in which you can make discoveries about triangles.
What is the largest cuboid you can wrap in an A3 sheet of paper?
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these
tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the
paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles
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?
In my local town there are three supermarkets which each has a
special deal on some products. If you bought all your shopping in
one shop, where would be the cheapest?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled
triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting
Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean
in the context of primary classrooms.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Investigate the different shaped bracelets you could make from 18 different spherical beads. How do they compare if you use 24 beads?
"Ip dip sky blue! Who's 'it'? It's you!" Where would you position yourself so that you are 'it' if there are two players? Three players ...?
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.
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
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
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?
Investigate these hexagons drawn from different sized equilateral
Take a look at these data collected by children in 1986 as part of the Domesday Project. What do they tell you? What do you think about the way they are presented?
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
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
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?