The whole set of tiles is used to make a square. This has a green and blue border. There are no green or blue tiles anywhere in the square except on this border. How many tiles are there in the set?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight
from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by
99 square board?
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 looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of
activities required to develop this thinking.
A cylindrical helix is just a spiral on a cylinder, like an ordinary spring or the thread on a bolt. If I turn a left-handed helix over (top to bottom) does it become a right handed helix?
Draw all the possible distinct triangles on a 4 x 4 dotty grid.
Convince me that you have all possible triangles.
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be
folded into a cube.
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
It is possible to dissect any square into smaller squares. What is
the minimum number of squares a 13 by 13 square can be dissected
Imagine you are suspending a cube from one vertex (corner) and
allowing it to hang freely. Now imagine you are lowering it into
water until it is exactly half submerged. What shape does the
surface. . . .
Seven small rectangular pictures have one inch wide frames. The
frames are removed and the pictures are fitted together like a
jigsaw to make a rectangle of length 12 inches. Find the dimensions
of. . . .
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and
reasoning to agree a final product.
A 3x3x3 cube may be reduced to unit cubes in six saw cuts. If after
every cut you can rearrange the pieces before cutting straight
through, can you do it in fewer?
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.
Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube
using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many
different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there
cannot be more than three acute angles.
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
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.
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an
opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and
Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?
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. . . .
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9,
12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
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 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
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?
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?
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will
not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the
quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares.
Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes,
two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus
meet on its way from one end to the other end?
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can
introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
A rectangular field has two posts with a ring on top of each post.
There are two quarrelsome goats and plenty of ropes which you can
tie to their collars. How can you secure them so they can't. . . .
Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
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?
ABC is an equilateral triangle and P is a point in the interior of
the triangle. We know that AP = 3cm and BP = 4cm. Prove that CP
must be less than 10 cm.
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.
When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we
A Hamiltonian circuit is a continuous path in a graph that passes through each of the vertices exactly once and returns to the start.
How many Hamiltonian circuits can you find in these graphs?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two
animals shown here.
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
What is the greatest number of squares you can make by overlapping
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the
information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo
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
We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?