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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Generalising

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Tourism

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

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

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Konigsberg Plus

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

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

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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.

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One O Five

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

You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .

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Multiplication Square

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

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

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Go Forth and Generalise

Stage: 3

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

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Number Pyramids

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

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Winning Lines

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

An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.

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Got It

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

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.

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Seven Squares - Group-worthy Task

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

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?

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Nim-like Games

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

A collection of games on the NIM theme

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Nim-interactive

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

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.

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Frogs

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

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Up and Down Staircases

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?

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Converging Means

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .

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Lower Bound

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

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Enclosing Squares

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

Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?

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Adding in Rows

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

List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?

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Pick's Theorem

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Mini-max

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

Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .

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Sum Equals Product

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

The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .

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All Tangled Up

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

Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?

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Picturing Square Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

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Picturing Triangle Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

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Special Sums and Products

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

Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.

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Painted Cube

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?

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Arithmagons

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?

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Handshakes

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

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

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Christmas Chocolates

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

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

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Mystic Rose

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

Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.

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How Much Can We Spend?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?

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Egyptian Fractions

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

The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.

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What Numbers Can We Make?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

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Magic Letters

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

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Nim-7 for Two

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

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?

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Route to Infinity

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

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

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Snake Coils

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.

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Steps to the Podium

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

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

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Keep it Simple

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

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Sliding Puzzle

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

The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.

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For Richer for Poorer

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

Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?

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Partitioning Revisited

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Cubes Within Cubes Revisited

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

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?

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Three Times Seven

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

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

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Masterclass Ideas: Generalising

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

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. . . .

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Consecutive Negative Numbers

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

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

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Cuboid Challenge

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

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?

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Elevenses

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

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Searching for Mean(ing)

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

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?

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Harmonic Triangle

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

Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?