Resources tagged with: Investigations

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Broad Topics > Mathematical Thinking > Investigations

Experiencing Problem Solving

Age 5 to 11

Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean in the context of primary classrooms.

Sending and Receiving Cards

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?

Opening Out

Age 5 to 11

Bernard Bagnall describes how to get more out of some favourite NRICH investigations.

Eye View

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?

Tessellating Transformations

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

Are You a Smart Shopper?

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

Lost Books

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

Sticks and Triangles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

Fencing Lambs

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.

Pebbles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

Fit These Shapes

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

Fencing

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.

Lawn Border

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

It Must Be 2000

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Here are many ideas for you to investigate - all linked with the number 2000.

Four Layers

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you create more models that follow these rules?

Cutting Corners

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?

Extending Great Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Explore one of these five pictures.

Polygonals

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.

Exploring Number Patterns You Make

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?

The Big Cheese

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start with?

Two Squared

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?

Double Your Popcorn, Double Your Pleasure

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

We went to the cinema and decided to buy some bags of popcorn so we asked about the prices. Investigate how much popcorn each bag holds so find out which we might have bought.

Tessellating Triangles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles triangles?

Calcunos

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

Taking a Die for a Walk

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Investigate the numbers that come up on a die as you roll it in the direction of north, south, east and west, without going over the path it's already made.

Presents

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

We need to wrap up this cube-shaped present, remembering that we can have no overlaps. What shapes can you find to use?

More Transformations on a Pegboard

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.

Sticky Triangles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?

Two on Five

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?

Triangle Relations

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?

My New Patio

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?

Cubes Here and There

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?

Marvellous Matrix

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Follow the directions for circling numbers in the matrix. Add all the circled numbers together. Note your answer. Try again with a different starting number. What do you notice?

It's a Fence!

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular arrangements.

The Numbers Give the Design

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.

More Pebbles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.

Follow the Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different numbers and different rules.

Triple Cubes

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.

Count the Digits

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s, 3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?

Three Sets of Cubes, Two Surfaces

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

The Domesday Project

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Take a look at these data collected by children in 1986 as part of the Domesday Project. What do they tell you? What do you think about the way they are presented?

Crossing the Town Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.

Tiles in the Garden

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?

Tiling Into Slanted Rectangles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.

Stairs

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.

Making Cuboids

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4 units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different cuboids can you make?

Making Squares

Age 7 to 11

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?

Newspapers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

Magazines

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16 pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.

Halloween Investigation

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?