This is the first article in a series which aim to provide some insight into the way spatial thinking develops in children, and draw on a range of reported research. The focus of this article is the. . . .
This article is based on some of the ideas that emerged during the production of a book which takes visualising as its focus. We began to identify problems which helped us to take a structured view. . . .
I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
This second article in the series refers to research about levels of development of spatial thinking and the possible influence of instruction.
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
A cheap and simple toy with lots of mathematics. Can you interpret the images that are produced? Can you predict the pattern that will be produced using different wheels?
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
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?
Take it in turns to place a domino on the grid. One to be placed horizontally and the other vertically. Can you make it impossible for your opponent to play?
Place the numbers 1, 2, 3,..., 9 one on each square of a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows and columns add up to a prime number. How many different solutions can you find?
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of activities required to develop this thinking.
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.
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?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?
Here are shadows of some 3D shapes. What shapes could have made them?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
A hundred square has been printed on both sides of a piece of paper. What is on the back of 100? 58? 23? 19?
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. . . .
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.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the watering can and man in a boat?
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!
How many balls of modelling clay and how many straws does it take to make these skeleton shapes?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
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.
A shape and space game for 2,3 or 4 players. Be the last person to be able to place a pentomino piece on the playing board. Play with card, or on the computer.
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?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Granma T?
Have a go at making a few of these shapes from paper in different sizes. What patterns can you create?
Can you work out what shape is made when this piece of paper is folded up using the crease pattern shown?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming?