It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter
(p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship
between p, i and the area of the polygons.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
A red square and a blue square overlap so that the corner of the red square rests on the centre of the blue square. Show that, whatever the orientation of the red square, it covers a quarter of the. . . .
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
An AP rectangle is one whose area is numerically equal to its perimeter. If you are given the length of a side can you always find an AP rectangle with one side the given length?
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which
seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the
foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other.
What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
Draw a square. A second square of the same size slides around the
first always maintaining contact and keeping the same orientation.
How far does the dot travel?
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she
does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are
the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players
take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single
pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.
A package contains a set of resources designed to develop
pupils’ mathematical thinking. This package places a
particular emphasis on “generalising” and is designed
to meet the. . . .
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both
has increased. How can this be so?
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that
cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can
make? And the greatest?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with
a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a
layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering
the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way
that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
How many different journeys could you make if you were going to visit four stations in this network? How about if there were five stations? Can you predict the number of journeys for seven stations?
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written
What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?