Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .
A description of some experiments in which you can make discoveries about triangles.
Formulate and investigate a simple mathematical model for the design of a table mat.
What shapes should Elly cut out to make a witch's hat? How can she make a taller hat?
How many different sets of numbers with at least four members can you find in the numbers in this box?
There are three tables in a room with blocks of chocolate on each. Where would be the best place for each child in the class to sit if they came in one at a time?
Numbers arranged in a square but some exceptional spatial awareness probably needed.
All types of mathematical problems serve a useful purpose in mathematics teaching, but different types of problem will achieve different learning objectives. In generalmore open-ended problems have. . . .
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
What is the largest cuboid you can wrap in an A3 sheet of paper?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
This activity asks you to collect information about the birds you see in the garden. Are there patterns in the data or do the birds seem to visit randomly?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are visible?
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why not?
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds. What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you are given?
In this article for teachers, Bernard gives an example of taking an initial activity and getting questions going that lead to other explorations.
In my local town there are three supermarkets which each has a special deal on some products. If you bought all your shopping in one shop, where would be the cheapest?
Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles triangles?
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?
We went to the cinema and decided to buy some bags of popcorn so we asked about the prices. Investigate how much popcorn each bag holds so find out which we might have bought.
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
In this investigation, we look at Pascal's Triangle in a slightly different way - rotated and with the top line of ones taken off.
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4 units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different cuboids can you make?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street in different ways.
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of sticks that make the most triangles?
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you find for me to take?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
Take a look at these data collected by children in 1986 as part of the Domesday Project. What do they tell you? What do you think about the way they are presented?
Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?
Work with numbers big and small to estimate and calculate various quantities in biological contexts.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Explore one of these five pictures.
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
How will you decide which way of flipping over and/or turning the grid will give you the highest total?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you try the other shapes?
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.
What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?