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. . . .
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. . . .
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can
introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.
A Hamiltonian circuit is a continuous path in a graph that passes through each of the vertices exactly once and returns to the start.
How many Hamiltonian circuits can you find in these graphs?
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
The whole set of tiles is used to make a square. This has a green and blue border. There are no green or blue tiles anywhere in the square except on this border. How many tiles are there in the set?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there
cannot be more than three acute angles.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
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?
Use a single sheet of A4 paper and make a cylinder having the greatest possible volume. The cylinder must be closed off by a circle at each end.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
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?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Imagine you are suspending a cube from one vertex (corner) and
allowing it to hang freely. Now imagine you are lowering it into
water until it is exactly half submerged. What shape does the
surface. . . .
Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular
intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
A rectangular field has two posts with a ring on top of each post.
There are two quarrelsome goats and plenty of ropes which you can
tie to their collars. How can you secure them so they can't. . . .
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?
Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an
opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and
A tilted square is a square with no horizontal sides. Can you
devise a general instruction for the construction of a square when
you are given just one of its sides?
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?
The reader is invited to investigate changes (or permutations) in the ringing of church bells, illustrated by braid diagrams showing the order in which the bells are rung.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?
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?
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
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.
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.
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
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
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?