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. . . .
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 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
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?
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
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.
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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 these rabbits?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?
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?
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?
If you can post the triangle with either the blue or yellow colour face up, how many ways can it be posted altogether?
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 see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
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.
Imagine a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. If you and a friend drill holes in some of the small cubes in the ways described, how many will have holes drilled through them?
This problem invites you to build 3D shapes using two different triangles. Can you make the shapes from the pictures?
What shape is made when you fold using this crease pattern? Can you make a ring design?
This article for teachers describes a project which explores thepower of storytelling to convey concepts and ideas to children.
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can be fitted together?
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th mark?
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 work out what is wrong with the cogs on a UK 2 pound coin?
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares. Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
Billy's class had a robot called Fred who could draw with chalk held underneath him. What shapes did the pupils make Fred draw?
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
Can you split each of the shapes below in half so that the two parts are exactly the same?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
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 the candle and sundial?
Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?