Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
Place a red counter in the top left corner of a 4x4 array, which is covered by 14 other smaller counters, leaving a gap in the bottom right hand corner (HOME). What is the smallest number of moves. . . .
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.
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
A game for 2 players
On the 3D grid a strange (and deadly) animal is lurking. Using the tracking system can you locate this creature as quickly as possible?
P is a point on the circumference of a circle radius r which rolls, without slipping, inside a circle of radius 2r. What is the locus of P?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
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.
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
This is an interactive net of a Rubik's cube. Twists of the 3D cube become mixes of the squares on the 2D net. Have a play and see how many scrambles you can undo!
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?
There are 27 small cubes in a 3 x 3 x 3 cube, 54 faces being visible at any one time. Is it possible to reorganise these cubes so that by dipping the large cube into a pot of paint three times you. . . .
A right-angled isosceles triangle is rotated about the centre point of a square. What can you say about the area of the part of the square covered by the triangle as it rotates?
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
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.
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.
In the game of Noughts and Crosses there are 8 distinct winning lines. How many distinct winning lines are there in a game played on a 3 by 3 by 3 board, with 27 cells?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two different distances between them?
Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which bell to ring?
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.
This is a simple version of an ancient game played all over the world. It is also called Mancala. What tactics will increase your chances of winning?
Two angles ABC and PQR are floating in a box so that AB//PQ and BC//QR. Prove that the two angles are equal.
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?
Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
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?
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know when it is your turn to ring?
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?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
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?