What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of
activities required to develop this thinking.
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?
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?
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?
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. . . .
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. . . .
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
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
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. . . .
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are
outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
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?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
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?
This second article in the series refers to research about levels
of development of spatial thinking and the possible influence of
Choose a box and work out the smallest rectangle of paper needed to
wrap it so that it is completely covered.
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an
opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can
introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
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?
Place the numbers 1, 2, 3,..., 9 one on each square of a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows and columns add up to a prime number. How many different solutions can you find?
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
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.
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.
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
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?
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 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.
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?
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?
If you can post the triangle with either the blue or yellow colour face up, how many ways can it be posted altogether?
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares.
Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
A shape and space game for 2,3 or 4 players. Be the last person to be able to place a pentomino piece on the playing board. Play with card, or on the computer.
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these convex shapes?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the rocket?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?
Billy's class had a robot called Fred who could draw with chalk
held underneath him. What shapes did the pupils make Fred draw?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
What happens when you turn these cogs? Investigate the differences
between turning two cogs of different sizes and two cogs which are
A hundred square has been printed on both sides of a piece of paper. What is on the back of 100? 58? 23? 19?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?
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.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?