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.
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.
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.
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Can you find a way of counting the spheres in these arrangements?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is the number you’re left with odd or even? How do the images help to explain this?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up with the same arrangement?
Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
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 investigate what kinds of triangles can be drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in Cambridge.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just like the one I have here?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can make? And the greatest?
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?