Conjecturing and Generalising at KS2

The "What if..?" questions are such an important part of mathematical thinking. Knowing what to ask means that you understand something about the structure of the problem, and being able to see similarities and differences means you're starting to generalise.

Take One Example

Age 5 to 11

This article introduces the idea of generic proof for younger children and illustrates how one example can offer a proof of a general result through unpacking its underlying structure.

School Fair Necklaces

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many possible necklaces can you find? And how do you know you've found them all?

Money Bags

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?

Division Rules

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.

Follow the Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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.

Exploring Wild & Wonderful Number Patterns

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.

Take Three Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?

Always, Sometimes or Never? Numberlive

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?

Always, Sometimes or Never? Shape

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?

This Pied Piper of Hamelin

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

Magic Vs

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?

Six Ten Total

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge combines addition, multiplication, perseverance and even proof.

Six Numbered Cubes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.

Three Neighbours

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Look at three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?

Got It

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Make 37

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Factors and Multiples Game

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

This game can replace standard practice exercises on finding factors and multiples.