Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight hidden squares?
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
Start with a large square, join the midpoints of its sides, you'll see four right angled triangles. Remove these triangles, a second square is left. Repeat the operation. What happens?
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall and work out a way they might fit together?
A useful visualising exercise which offers opportunities for discussion and generalising, and which could be used for thinking about the formulae needed for generating the results on a spreadsheet.
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .
An extension of noughts and crosses in which the grid is enlarged and the length of the winning line can to altered to 3, 4 or 5.
This practical problem challenges you to make quadrilaterals with a loop of string. You'll need some friends to help!
How can the same pieces of the tangram make this bowl before and after it was chipped? Use the interactivity to try and work out what is going on!
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares. Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
A group activity using visualisation of squares and triangles.
What shape has Harry drawn on this clock face? Can you find its area? What is the largest number of square tiles that could cover this area?
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
A game has a special dice with a colour spot on each face. These three pictures show different views of the same dice. What colour is opposite blue?
What is the greatest number of squares you can make by overlapping three squares?
Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
The image in this problem is part of a piece of equipment found in the playground of a school. How would you describe it to someone over the phone?
Find a way to cut a 4 by 4 square into only two pieces, then rejoin the two pieces to make an L shape 6 units high.
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
Imagine a 4 by 4 by 4 cube. If you and a friend drill holes in some of the small cubes in the ways described, how many will not have holes drilled through them?
A game for 2 players. Given a board of dots in a grid pattern, players take turns drawing a line by connecting 2 adjacent dots. Your goal is to complete more squares than your opponent.
A game for two players on a large squared space.
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
Imagine a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made of 9 small cubes. Each face of the large cube is painted a different colour. How many small cubes will have two painted faces? Where are they?
Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of activities required to develop this thinking.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?
On which of these shapes can you trace a path along all of its edges, without going over any edge twice?
What happens when you turn these cogs? Investigate the differences between turning two cogs of different sizes and two cogs which are the same.
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or ruling lines.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
A hundred square has been printed on both sides of a piece of paper. What is on the back of 100? 58? 23? 19?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?