Explore one of these five pictures.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
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 tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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?
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?
A description of some experiments in which you can make discoveries about triangles.
Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean
in the context of primary classrooms.
In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s,
3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
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.
Here are many ideas for you to investigate - all linked with the
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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?
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a
go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
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?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
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?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these
tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds.
What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you
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?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the
paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What
would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start
Bernard Bagnall describes how to get more out of some favourite
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
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
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
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?
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
Numbers arranged in a square but some exceptional spatial awareness probably needed.
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
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.
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
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?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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?
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?
Investigate the number of faces you can see when you arrange three cubes in different ways.