Show that for any triangle it is always possible to construct 3 touching circles with centres at the vertices. Is it possible to construct touching circles centred at the vertices of any polygon?
ABC and DEF are equilateral triangles of side 3 and 4 respectively. Construct an equilateral triangle whose area is the sum of the area of ABC and DEF.
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?
Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?
Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?
What is the volume of the solid formed by rotating this right angled triangle about the hypotenuse?
With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
A game for 2 players with similarities to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.
Can you find a general rule for finding the areas of equilateral triangles drawn on an isometric grid?
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?”
Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?
The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.
Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter (p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship between p, i and the area of the polygons.
Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .
Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .
Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?
A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .
A counter is placed in the bottom right hand corner of a grid. You toss a coin and move the star according to the following rules: ... What is the probability that you end up in the top left-hand. . . .
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.
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.
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?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?