How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5 grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
Investigate these hexagons drawn from different sized equilateral triangles.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?
What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you try the other shapes?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular arrangements.
Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles triangles?
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of sticks that make the most triangles?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Bernard Bagnall describes how to get more out of some favourite NRICH investigations.
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?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why not?
We need to wrap up this cube-shaped present, remembering that we can have no overlaps. What shapes can you find to use?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns with two different types of triangle. You could even try overlapping them.
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could measure lengths, areas and angles.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
Explore one of these five pictures.
Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s, 3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.
These pictures were made by starting with a square, finding the half-way point on each side and joining those points up. You could investigate your own starting shape.
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?
If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each time?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean in the context of primary classrooms.
In my local town there are three supermarkets which each has a special deal on some products. If you bought all your shopping in one shop, where would be the cheapest?
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same colour are next to each other in any direction?
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you find for me to take?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?