Great Problems for New Classes - September 2010, Stage 2&3

This month we have chosen a selection of problems ideal for beginning problem-solving at the start of a new school year. These tasks help to break the ice and stimulate mathematical discussions. We hope they will help new classes to develop good mathematical habits of mind.

Problems

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Ip Dip

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

"Ip dip sky blue! Who's 'it'? It's you!" Where would you position yourself so that you are 'it' if there are two players? Three players ...?

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Triple Cubes

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

This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.

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Follow the Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different numbers and different rules.

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Gran, How Old Are You?

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

When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?

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Next Size Up

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

The challenge for you is to make a string of six (or more!) graded cubes.

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Shady Symmetry

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Diminishing Returns

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

In this problem, we have created a pattern from smaller and smaller squares. If we carried on the pattern forever, what proportion of the image would be coloured blue?

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An Unusual Shape

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

Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?