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

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Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Clocking Off

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?

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Square It

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Multiplication Series: Illustrating Number Properties with Arrays

Stage: 1 and 2

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,. . . .

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Bands and Bridges: Bringing Topology Back

Stage: 2 and 3

Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.

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Sliding Puzzle

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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 moves.

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Horizontal Vertical

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

Take it in turns to place a domino on the grid. One to be placed horizontally and the other vertically. Can you make it impossible for your opponent to play?

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Dice, Routes and Pathways

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

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. . . .

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Sea Defences

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

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?

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Change Around

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

Move just three of the circles so that the triangle faces in the opposite direction.

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Zooming in on the Squares

Stage: 2 and 3

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?

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Pattern Power

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.

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Diagonal Dodge

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Colour Wheels

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th mark?

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The Development of Spatial and Geometric Thinking: 5 to 18

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

This is the first article in a series which aim to provide some insight into the way spatial thinking develops in children, and draw on a range of reported research. The focus of this article is the. . . .

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Introducing NRICH TWILGO

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?

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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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Auditorium Steps

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

What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?

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3D Stacks

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

Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?

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Take One Example

Stage: 1 and 2

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.

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Coded Hundred Square

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?

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Baravelle

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?

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Like a Circle in a Spiral

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A cheap and simple toy with lots of mathematics. Can you interpret the images that are produced? Can you predict the pattern that will be produced using different wheels?

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Masterclass Ideas: Visualising

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A package contains a set of resources designed to develop pupils' mathematical thinking. This package places a particular emphasis on “visualising” and is designed to meet the needs. . . .

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Eight Hidden Squares

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

On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight hidden squares?

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Air Nets

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.

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Sprouts

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.

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Playground Snapshot

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

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?

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Thinking Through, and By, Visualising

Stage: 2, 3 and 4

This article is based on some of the ideas that emerged during the production of a book which takes visualising as its focus. We began to identify problems which helped us to take a structured view. . . .

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Neighbours

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

In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?

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Music to My Ears

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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World of Tan 5 - Rocket

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the rocket?

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World of Tan 7 - Gat Marn

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?

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World of Tan 6 - Junk

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?

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Posting Triangles

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you can post the triangle with either the blue or yellow colour face up, how many ways can it be posted altogether?

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Ten Hidden Squares

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

These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares. Can you find the 10 hidden squares?

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Dragons and Swans

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game for two players. You'll need some counters.

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World of Tan 13 - A Storm in a Tea Cup

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these convex shapes?

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World of Tan 11 - the Past, Present and Future

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?

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A City of Towers

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

In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many different ways can they build their houses?

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Flip

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

Can you picture where this letter "F" will be on the grid if you flip it in these different ways?

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Domino Numbers

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

Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?

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World of Tan 4 - Monday Morning

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?

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Fred the Class Robot

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

Billy's class had a robot called Fred who could draw with chalk held underneath him. What shapes did the pupils make Fred draw?

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Picture a Pyramid ...

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

Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes. If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?

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World of Tan 12 - All in a Fluff

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?

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World of Tan 8 - Sports Car

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this sports car?

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Face Painting

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

You want to make each of the 5 Platonic solids and colour the faces so that, in every case, no two faces which meet along an edge have the same colour.

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World of Tan 15 - Millennia

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?

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World of Tan 14 - Celebrations

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?