Great problems for new classes - September 2011, Stage 3&4

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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American Billions

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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...

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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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Changing Areas, Changing Perimeters

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How can you change the area of a shape but keep its perimeter the same? How can you change the perimeter but keep the area the same?

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Non-transitive Dice

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

Alison and Charlie are playing a game. Charlie wants to go first so Alison lets him. Was that such a good idea?

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Ideas for the Secondary Classroom

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

Articles about mathematics which can help to invigorate your classroom

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Changing Areas, Changing Volumes

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How can you change the surface area of a cuboid but keep its volume the same? How can you change the volume but keep the surface area the same?

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Attractive Tablecloths

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?

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Weekly Challenges

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

The NRICH Stage 5 weekly challenges are shorter problems aimed at Post-16 students or enthusiastic younger students. There are 52 of them.

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Few and Far Between?

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you find some Pythagorean Triples where the two smaller numbers differ by 1?