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Resources tagged with Working systematically similar to Many Ideas with a Few Cubes:

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Working systematically

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Encouraging Primary Children to Work Systematically

Stage: Early years, 1 and 2

This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.

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I've Submitted a Solution - What Next?

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.

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Peg and Pin Boards

Stage: 1 and 2

This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.

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Jigsaw Pieces

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Imagine that the puzzle pieces of a jigsaw are roughly a rectangular shape and all the same size. How many different puzzle pieces could there be?

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3 Blocks Towers

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

Take three differently coloured blocks - maybe red, yellow and blue. Make a tower using one of each colour. How many different towers can you make?

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Fencing Lambs

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.

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Four Colours

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

Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.

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Two on Five

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

Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?

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Penta Place

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

Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can create?

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Snakes

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

Explore the different snakes that can be made using 5 cubes.

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The Third Dimension

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

Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?

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Button-up

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?

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The School Trip

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Lorenzie was packing his bag for a school trip. He packed four shirts and three pairs of pants. "I will be able to have a different outfit each day", he said. How many days will Lorenzie be away?

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3 Sets of Cubes, 2 Surfaces

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

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

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Red Express Train

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The Red Express Train usually has five red carriages. How many ways can you find to add two blue carriages?

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Brush Loads

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.

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Train Carriages

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

Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?

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Wag Worms

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

When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.

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Maths Trails

Stage: 2 and 3

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

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Prompt Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.

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Multilink Cubes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?

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Stairs

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

This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.

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Cubes Here and There

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?

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Briefcase Lock

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

My briefcase has a three-number combination lock, but I have forgotten the combination. I remember that there's a 3, a 5 and an 8. How many possible combinations are there to try?

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New House

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?

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Jumping Cricket

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

El Crico the cricket has to cross a square patio to get home. He can jump the length of one tile, two tiles and three tiles. Can you find a path that would get El Crico home in three jumps?

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Shaping Up

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

Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?

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Finding Fifteen

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

Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?

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Cereal Packets

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

How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?

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Cuisenaire Counting

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?

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Triangle Edges

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?

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Lots of Lollies

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Frances and Rishi were given a bag of lollies. They shared them out evenly and had one left over. How many lollies could there have been in the bag?

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Arrangements

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?

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Geoboards

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

This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.

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Same Length Trains

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?

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Tiling

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.

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The Puzzling Sweet Shop

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

There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?

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Dodecamagic

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

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?

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Two Egg Timers

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

You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you measure and how?

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Twenty Divided Into Six

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

Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same total. What was the total and how could this be done?

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Find the Difference

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

Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.

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Are You Well Balanced?

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more than one weight on a hook.

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Fault-free Rectangles

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

Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.

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Combining Cuisenaire

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

Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?

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Nine-pin Triangles

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

How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?

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Home Time

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

Alice's mum needs to go to each child's house just once and then back home again. How many different routes are there? Use the information to find out how long each road is on the route she took.

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Putting Two and Two Together

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Three Ball Line Up

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

Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.

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Making Trains

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

Can you make a train the same length as Laura's but using three differently coloured rods? Is there only one way of doing it?

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Robot Monsters

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.