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Challenge level: Challenge Level:1 Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:3

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

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Mobile Numbers

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

In this investigation, you are challenged to make mobile phone numbers which are easy to remember. What happens if you make a sequence adding 2 each time?

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Doplication

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?

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Tables Without Tens

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate and explain the patterns that you see from recording just the units digits of numbers in the times tables.

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Magazines

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

Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16 pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.

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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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Taking a Die for a Walk

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

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.

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It's All about 64

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Sets of Numbers

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

How many different sets of numbers with at least four members can you find in the numbers in this box?

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Sometimes We Lose Things

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

Well now, what would happen if we lost all the nines in our number system? Have a go at writing the numbers out in this way and have a look at the multiplications table.

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Calendar Patterns

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice about the answers?

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Exploring Wild & Wonderful Number Patterns

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.

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Sets of Four Numbers

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

There are ten children in Becky's group. Can you find a set of numbers for each of them? Are there any other sets?

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Investigating Pascal's Triangle

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

In this investigation, we look at Pascal's Triangle in a slightly different way - rotated and with the top line of ones taken off.

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Magic Constants

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

In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?

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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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Abundant Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?

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It Was 2010!

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

If the answer's 2010, what could the question 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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Follow the Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different numbers and different rules.

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Round and Round the Circle

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

What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you can predict what will happen.

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Street Sequences

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

Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street in different ways.

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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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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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Stairs

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

This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.

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Exploring Number Patterns You Make

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

Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?

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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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Balance of Halves

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate this balance which is marked in halves. If you had a weight on the left-hand 7, where could you hang two weights on the right to make it balance?

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Month Mania

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

Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?

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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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Tessellating Triangles

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles triangles?

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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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It Figures

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

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?

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Pebbles

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

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?

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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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Room Doubling

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

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.

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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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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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Plants

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

Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?

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Bean Bags for Bernard's Bag

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

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?

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Triangular Hexagons

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate these hexagons drawn from different sized equilateral triangles.

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Five Coins

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

Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?

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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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The Numbers Give the Design

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.

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Watch Your Feet

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

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?

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Worms

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

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?

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Experiencing Problem Solving

Stage: 1 and 2

Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean in the context of primary classrooms.

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More Pebbles

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

Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.

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Ip Dip

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

"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 ...?

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Gran, How Old Are You?

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

When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?