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?
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.
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. . . .
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.
What is the volume of the solid formed by rotating this right angled triangle about the hypotenuse?
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
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.
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
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?”
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
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?
I added together some of my neighbours house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
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?
What is the total number of squares that can be made on a 5 by 5 geoboard?
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.
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. . . .
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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.
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
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?
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
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.
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
An account of some magic squares and their properties and and how to construct them for yourself.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?
Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .
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
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...
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?
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
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.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
A game for 2 players
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.
Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The loser is the player who takes the last counter.
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
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?
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.