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Learning mathematics. Games. Interactivities. Problem solving. Roadshow. Pedagogy. Mathematical Thinking. Working systematically. Rich Tasks. Visualising.

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Working systematically

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Encouraging Primary Children to Work Systematically

Age 3 to 11

This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.

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I've Submitted a Solution - What Next?

Age 5 to 18

In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.

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Teddy Town

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?

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Maths Trails

Age 7 to 14

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

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Matching Time

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.

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Ladybird Box

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.

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Four Triangles Puzzle

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

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First Connect Three for Two

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.

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First Connect Three

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?

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Twinkle Twinkle

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.

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Colour in the Square

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?

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Number Sandwiches

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 to make a Number Sandwich?

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Tea Cups

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.

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Triangles All Around

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and find their angles?

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A Square of Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?

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One to Fifteen

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?

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2,4,6,8

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can you make?

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What Shape and Colour?

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Can you fill in the empty boxes in the grid with the right shape and colour?

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Making Maths: Double-sided Magic Square

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?

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Two Dice

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.

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Code Breaker

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?

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The Add and Take-away Path

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Two children made up a game as they walked along the garden paths. Can you find out their scores? Can you find some paths of your own?

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The Third Dimension

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?

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Reach 100

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.

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Late Again

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?

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Junior Frogs

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?

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Jumping Squares

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

In this problem it is not the squares that jump, you do the jumping! The idea is to go round the track in as few jumps as possible.

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Ordered Ways of Working Lower Primary

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.

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More Children and Plants

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.

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More Plant Spaces

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.

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Games Related to Nim

Age 5 to 16

This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.

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Creating Cubes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.

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Difference

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.

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Inside Triangles

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?

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Winning the Lottery

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the chance of winning?

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Button-up

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?

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Family Tree

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.

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Four Colours

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.

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Bean Bags for Bernard's Bag

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?

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Arrangements

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?

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Roll These Dice

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Roll two red dice and a green dice. Add the two numbers on the red dice and take away the number on the green. What are all the different possibilities that could come up?

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Whose Sandwich?

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered each sandwich.

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Cuisenaire Counting

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?

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Nineteen Hexagons

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What are the possible paths you could take?

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Nine-pin Triangles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?

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Triangle Animals

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them all?

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Growing Garlic

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.

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Briefcase Lock

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

My briefcase has a three-number combination lock, but I have forgotten the combination. I remember that there's a 3, a 5 and an 8. How many possible combinations are there to try?

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Factor Lines

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.

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Counters

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?