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.
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?
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 see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
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?
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. . . .
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.
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?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
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?
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10. You could use the interactivity to help you.
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
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.
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?
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!
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?
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 ...
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?
Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves
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 it up?
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?
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?
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
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?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Move just three of the circles so that the triangle faces in the opposite direction.
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th mark?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
A variant on the game Alquerque
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are visible?
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.
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
A game for two players on a large squared space.
Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?
An activity centred around observations of dots and how we visualise number arrangement patterns.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
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?
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.
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.