Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
Explore one of these five pictures.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
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?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
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?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
These pictures were made by starting with a square, finding the half-way point on each side and joining those points up. You could investigate your own starting shape.
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
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.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
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?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about
the relationship between them?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
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.
The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a
triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word
ABACUS from this triangular pattern?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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
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?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
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?
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.
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
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
Investigate the number of faces you can see when you arrange three cubes in different ways.
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these
tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
A description of some experiments in which you can make discoveries about triangles.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
What is the largest cuboid you can wrap in an A3 sheet of paper?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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. . . .
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds.
What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you
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?