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.
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.
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
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?
What two-digit numbers can you make with these two dice? What can't you make?
Follow the clues to find the mystery number.
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?
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one
solution in each case?
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?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
In your bank, you have three types of coins. The number of spots shows how much they are worth. Can you choose coins to exchange with the groups given to make the same total?
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?
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?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing 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?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four
squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other
totals can you make?
Use the numbers and symbols to make this number sentence correct. How many different ways can you find?
What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
This activity focuses on rounding to the nearest 10.
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?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
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?
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....?
A package contains a set of resources designed to develop
students’ mathematical thinking. This package places a
particular emphasis on “being systematic” and is
designed to meet. . . .
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
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?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
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?
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 trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
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