Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which
there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged
to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red
counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the
other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
An activity centred around observations of dots and how we visualise number arrangement patterns.
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?
Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves
A game for 2 players. Given a board of dots in a grid pattern, players take turns drawing a line by connecting 2 adjacent dots. Your goal is to complete more squares than your opponent.
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can
introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
A game for two players on a large squared space.
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?
This article introduces the idea of generic proof for younger children and illustrates how one example can offer a proof of a general result through unpacking its underlying structure.
Start with a large square, join the midpoints of its sides, you'll see four right angled triangles. Remove these triangles, a second square is left. Repeat the operation. What happens?
Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
How can the same pieces of the tangram make this bowl before and after it was chipped? Use the interactivity to try and work out what is going on!
The image in this problem is part of a piece of equipment found in the playground of a school. How would you describe it to someone over the phone?
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
An extension of noughts and crosses in which the grid is enlarged
and the length of the winning line can to altered to 3, 4 or 5.
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an
opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and
For this task, you'll need an A4 sheet and two A5 transparent sheets. Decide on a way of arranging the A5 sheets on top of the A4 sheet and explore ...
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand
face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he
had just finished spelling. How did this work?
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Where can you put the mirror across the square so that you can still "see" the whole square? How many different positions are possible?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to
another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number
and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the watering can and man in a boat?
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties
involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows
children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
Can you cut a regular hexagon into two pieces to make a
parallelogram? Try cutting it into three pieces to make a rhombus!
Each of the nets of nine solid shapes has been cut into two pieces. Can you see which pieces go together?
Can you arrange the shapes in a chain so that each one shares a
face (or faces) that are the same shape as the one that follows it?
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
What shape has Harry drawn on this clock face? Can you find its
area? What is the largest number of square tiles that could cover
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is the number you’re left with odd or even? How do the images help to explain this?
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical
Reasoning about the number of matches needed to build squares that
share their sides.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this sports car?