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

Summing Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?

Special Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?

Sticky Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

9 Weights

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?

Number Daisy

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?

Consecutive Negative Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

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.

More Magic Potting Sheds

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?

Weights

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?

Squares in Rectangles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

Ben's Game

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.

Two and Two

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.

Tetrahedra Tester

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles. Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?

Factors and Multiple Challenges

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

This package contains a collection of problems from the NRICH website that could be suitable for students who have a good understanding of Factors and Multiples and who feel ready to take on some. . . .

How Old Are the Children?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

A student in a maths class was trying to get some information from her teacher. She was given some clues and then the teacher ended by saying, "Well, how old are they?"

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?

When Will You Pay Me? Say the Bells of Old Bailey

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which bell to ring?

Twinkle Twinkle

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.

Where Can We Visit?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

First Connect Three for Two

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.

You Owe Me Five Farthings, Say the Bells of St Martin's

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know when it is your turn to ring?

Games Related to Nim

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.

American Billions

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?

Masterclass Ideas: Working Systematically

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Fence It

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?

Integrated Sums Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

The puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers which are either placed on the border lines between selected pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid or placed after slash marks on. . . .

Isosceles Triangles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?

Seasonal Twin Sudokus

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?

Twin Line-swapping Sudoku

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".

A First Product Sudoku

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?

Cinema Problem

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.

Twin Corresponding Sudokus II

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.

Ratio Sudoku 2

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

A Sudoku with clues as ratios.

Intersection Sudoku 1

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

A Sudoku with a twist.

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four surrounding cells.

Difference Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

An Introduction to Magic Squares

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

This is a variation of sudoku which contains a set of special clue-numbers. Each set of 4 small digits stands for the numbers in the four cells of the grid adjacent to this set.

Inky Cube

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?

Sociable Cards

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Move your counters through this snake of cards and see how far you can go. Are you surprised by where you end up?

Difference Dynamics

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

Take three whole numbers. The differences between them give you three new numbers. Find the differences between the new numbers and keep repeating this. What happens?

Rainstorm Sudoku

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku

A Long Time at the Till

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?

Introducing NRICH TWILGO

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?

Building with Longer Rods

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.

Crossing the Town Square

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.

More Plant Spaces

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.