Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many different ways can they build their houses?
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. . . .
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th mark?
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.
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
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?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
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?
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?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
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?
This second article in the series refers to research about levels of development of spatial thinking and the possible influence of instruction.
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?
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?
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
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. . . .
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?
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.
Can you predict when you'll be clapping and when you'll be clicking if you start this rhythm? How about when a friend begins a new rhythm at the same time?
Can you make a 3x3 cube with these shapes made from small cubes?
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
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.
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold it up?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
Move just three of the circles so that the triangle faces in the opposite direction.
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.
A variant on the game Alquerque
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
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?
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. . . .
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these convex shapes?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the rocket?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
What happens when you turn these cogs? Investigate the differences between turning two cogs of different sizes and two cogs which are the same.