This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
What two-digit numbers can you make with these two dice? What can't you make?
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one
solution in each case?
This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
If you put three beads onto a tens/ones abacus you could make the
numbers 3, 30, 12 or 21. What numbers can be made with six beads?
Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
This activity focuses on rounding to the nearest 10.
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
Follow the clues to find the mystery number.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are
palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules,
to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on
wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works
using the table of the alphabet?
How could you arrange at least two dice in a stack so that the total of the visible spots is 18?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be
removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to
remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the
next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
George and Jim want to buy a chocolate bar. George needs 2p more
and Jim need 50p more to buy it. How much is the chocolate bar?
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next
to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M.
What order were they in?
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99
How many ways can you do it?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be
created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square
lattice paper to record your results.
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are
differently sized and which are 'similar'?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
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?
Start with three pairs of socks. Now mix them up so that no
mismatched pair is the same as another mismatched pair. Is there
more than one way to do it?