See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two
animals shown here.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What
movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of
procedures will help - variables not essential.
In a right angled triangular field, three animals are tethered to posts at the midpoint of each side. Each rope is just long enough to allow the animal to reach two adjacent vertices. Only one animal. . . .
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?
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other.
What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles
Seven small rectangular pictures have one inch wide frames. The
frames are removed and the pictures are fitted together like a
jigsaw to make a rectangle of length 12 inches. Find the dimensions
of. . . .
You can move the 4 pieces of the jigsaw and fit them into both
outlines. Explain what has happened to the missing one unit of
Is it possible to remove ten unit cubes from a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made from 27 unit cubes so that the surface area of the remaining solid is the same as the surface area of the original 3 by 3 by 3. . . .
A circle rolls around the outside edge of a square so that its circumference always touches the edge of the square. Can you describe the locus of the centre of the circle?
Points P, Q, R and S each divide the sides AB, BC, CD and DA respectively in the ratio of 2 : 1. Join the points. What is the area of the parallelogram PQRS in relation to the original rectangle?
It is possible to dissect any square into smaller squares. What is
the minimum number of squares a 13 by 13 square can be dissected
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are
outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
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
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?
Choose a box and work out the smallest rectangle of paper needed to
wrap it so that it is completely covered.
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what
you see? Why not try and make one yourself?
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?
What shape is the overlap when you slide one of these shapes half way across another? Can you picture it in your head? Use the interactivity to check your visualisation.
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 make an angle of 60 degrees by folding a sheet of paper
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?
Generate three random numbers to determine the side lengths of a triangle. What triangles can you draw?
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller
circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
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.
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.
ABCDEFGH is a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. Point P is 1/3 along AB (that is AP
: PB = 1 : 2), point Q is 1/3 along GH and point R is 1/3 along ED.
What is the area of the triangle PQR?
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
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?
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?
You have 27 small cubes, 3 each of nine colours. Use the small cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of every colour.
Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
Four rods, two of length a and two of length b, are linked to form
a kite. The linkage is moveable so that the angles change. What is
the maximum area of the kite?
The diagram shows a very heavy kitchen cabinet. It cannot be lifted but it can be pivoted around a corner. The task is to move it, without sliding, in a series of turns about the corners so that it. . . .
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
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 describes how modelling number properties
involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows
children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
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.
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of
activities required to develop this thinking.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this goat and giraffe?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this sports car?
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 these convex shapes?
What happens when you turn these cogs? Investigate the differences
between turning two cogs of different sizes and two cogs which are
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes,
two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus
meet on its way from one end to the other end?
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical