Using your knowledge of the properties of numbers, can you fill all the squares on the board?
Factors and Multiples game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you win this game?
Can you predict when you'll be clapping and when you'll be clicking
if you start this rhythm? How about when a friend begins a new
rhythm at the same time?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
A game in which players take it in turns to choose a number. Can you block your opponent?
In this article for teachers, Bernard uses some problems to suggest
that once a numerical pattern has been spotted from a practical
starting point, going back to the practical can help explain. . . .
Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an
unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can
you make? Convince us you have found them all.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to
make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold
Here is a chance to create some Celtic knots and explore the mathematics behind them.
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now
it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know
when it is your turn to ring?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you
work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall
and work out a way they might fit together?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles
together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can
be fitted together?
How can you make an angle of 60 degrees by folding a sheet of paper
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles
using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What
other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4
units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different
cuboids can you make?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many
different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and
the 2 must not touch the table?
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do
you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which
bell to ring?
Move your counters through this snake of cards and see how far you
can go. Are you surprised by where you end up?
The triangle ABC is equilateral. The arc AB has centre C, the arc
BC has centre A and the arc CA has centre B. Explain how and why
this shape can roll along between two parallel tracks.
I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can
trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I
end up with exactly two marbles of each colour?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
Follow the diagrams to make this patchwork piece, based on an
octagon in a square.
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?
Ideas for practical ways of representing data such as Venn and
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
How is it possible to predict the card?
Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what
you see? Why not try and make one yourself?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
Where can you put the mirror across the square so that you can still "see" the whole square? How many different positions are possible?
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
Time for a little mathemagic! Choose any five cards from a pack and show four of them to your partner. How can they work out the fifth?
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns
with two different types of triangle. You could even try
Kaia is sure that her father has worn a particular tie twice a week
in at least five of the last ten weeks, but her father disagrees.
Who do you think is right?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
If you'd like to know more about Primary Maths Masterclasses, this
is the package to read! Find out about current groups in your
region or how to set up your own.
You could use just coloured pencils and paper to create this
design, but it will be more eye-catching if you can get hold of
hammer, nails and string.