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

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Mindreader

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

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

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Make 37

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

Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.

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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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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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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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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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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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Cunning Card Trick

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

Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?

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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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Card Trick 2

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

Can you explain how this card trick works?

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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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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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Mind Reading

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .

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Triangle Numbers

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

Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?

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Summing Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Spirals, Spirals

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Mirror, Mirror...

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.

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Litov's Mean Value Theorem

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

Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...

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Chess

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

What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by 99 square board?

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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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2001 Spatial Oddity

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

With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.

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Cut it Out

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

Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?

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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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Squares in Rectangles

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

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?

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Always, Sometimes or Never?

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

Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?

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Walking the Squares

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

Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.

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Roll over the Dice

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

Watch this video to see how to roll the dice. Now it's your turn! What do you notice about the dice numbers you have recorded?

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...on the Wall

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

Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.

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Who Is the Fairest of Them All?

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

Explore the effect of combining enlargements.

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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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Chocolate Maths

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .

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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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Great Granddad

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

Great Granddad is very proud of his telegram from the Queen congratulating him on his hundredth birthday and he has friends who are even older than he is... When was he born?

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Nim-7

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

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?