This article introduces the idea of generic proof for younger children and illustrates how one example can offer a proof of a general result through unpacking its underlying structure.
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is the number youâ€™re left with odd or even? How do the images help to explain this?
Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remove them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
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?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold it up?
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
Seeing Squares game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
For this task, you'll need an A4 sheet and two A5 transparent sheets. Decide on a way of arranging the A5 sheets on top of the A4 sheet and explore ...
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
Can you find a way of counting the spheres in these arrangements?
Place the numbers 1, 2, 3,..., 9 one on each square of a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows and columns add up to a prime number. How many different solutions can you find?
What is the least number of moves you can take to rearrange the bears so that no bear is next to a bear of the same colour?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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.
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?
Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes. If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?
When I fold a 0-20 number line, I end up with 'stacks' of numbers on top of each other. These challenges involve varying the length of the number line and investigating the 'stack totals'.
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th mark?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall and work out a way they might fit together?
Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10.
Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?
A game for 2 players. Given a board of dots in a grid pattern, players take turns drawing a line by connecting 2 adjacent dots. Your goal is to complete more squares than your opponent.
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight hidden squares?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of activities required to develop this thinking.
I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?
This is the first article in a series which aim to provide some insight into the way spatial thinking develops in children, and draw on a range of reported research. The focus of this article is the. . . .
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares. Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
A hundred square has been printed on both sides of a piece of paper. What is on the back of 100? 58? 23? 19?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can be fitted together?