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.
What two-digit numbers can you make with these two dice? What can't you make?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Follow the clues to find the mystery number.
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one
solution in each case?
Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
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?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
This activity focuses on rounding to the nearest 10.
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
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?
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
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.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
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?
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?
In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next
hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What
are the possible paths you could take?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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?
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?
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?
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
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....?
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?
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
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?
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?
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square
tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using
all 15 tables, with no empty places.
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are
you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of
sticks that make the most triangles?