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. . . .
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. . . .
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
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 can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
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.
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.
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?
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.
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
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. 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 find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
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 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.
How many loops of string have been used to make these patterns?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back together?
Why do you think that the red player chose that particular dot in this game of Seeing Squares?
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.
For this task, you'll need an A4 sheet and two A5 transparent sheets. Decide on a way of arranging the A5 sheets on top of the A4 sheet and explore ...
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 shadows of some 3D shapes. What shapes could have made 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.
This second article in the series refers to research about levels of development of spatial thinking and the possible influence of instruction.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?
Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the watering can and man in a boat?
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?
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!
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 the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
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 outlines of these clocks?
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?
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 the chairs?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical challenge.
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10. You could use the interactivity to help you.
How many pieces of string have been used in these patterns? Can you describe how you know?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?