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

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Seven Pots of Plants

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

There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.

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Button-up Some More

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

How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?

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Shapes in a Grid

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

Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?

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Calendar Cubes

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

Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.

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More on Mazes

Stage: 2 and 3

There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.

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How Long Does it Take?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.

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Multiples Grid

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

What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?

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Factor Lines

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

Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.

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Half Time

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

What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?

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Family Tree

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

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.

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Number Detective

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Follow the clues to find the mystery number.

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Elf Suits

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

If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?

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The Naked Pair in Sudoku

Stage: 2, 3 and 4

A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.

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Team Scream

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

Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with each of the others. What was the total number rides?

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Home City

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

Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.

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1 to 8

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.

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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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Today's Date - 01/06/2009

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

What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates yourself.

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Broken Toaster

Stage: 2 Short Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?

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A Bag of Marbles

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

Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?

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Whose Face?

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

These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.

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Zargon Glasses

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

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?

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All Seated

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

Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?

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Being Thoughtful - Primary Number

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

Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.

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Centred Squares

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

This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.

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Chocoholics

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

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?

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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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Uncanny Triangles

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

Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?

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Counters

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

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?

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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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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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Nineteen Hexagons

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

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?

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Masterclass Ideas: Working Systematically

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

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. . . .

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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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How Much Did it Cost?

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

Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.

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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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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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Magnetic Personality

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?

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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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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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Polo Square

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

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Symmetry Challenge

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

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.

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Calcunos

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

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

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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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Buying a Balloon

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Is a Square a Rectangle?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are differently sized and which are 'similar'?

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Cover the Camel

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you cover the camel with these pieces?

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Tessellate the Triominoes

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?

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Mixed-up Socks

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

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?

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Rabbits in the Pen

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

Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?