Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?
How many different ways can I lay 10 paving slabs, each 2 foot by 1 foot, to make a path 2 foot wide and 10 foot long from my back door into my garden, without cutting any of the paving slabs?
Place a red counter in the top left corner of a 4x4 array, which is covered by 14 other smaller counters, leaving a gap in the bottom right hand corner (HOME). What is the smallest number of moves. . . .
The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?
A game for 2 players
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.
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
This is a simple version of an ancient game played all over the world. It is also called Mancala. What tactics will increase your chances of winning?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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. . . .
There are 27 small cubes in a 3 x 3 x 3 cube, 54 faces being visible at any one time. Is it possible to reorganise these cubes so that by dipping the large cube into a pot of paint three times you. . . .
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.
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 use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Seven small rectangular pictures have one inch wide frames. The frames are removed and the pictures are fitted together like a jigsaw to make a rectangle of length 12 inches. Find the dimensions of. . . .
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make shapes with line symmetry?
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9, 12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
A right-angled isosceles triangle is rotated about the centre point of a square. What can you say about the area of the part of the square covered by the triangle as it rotates?
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?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
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?
The whole set of tiles is used to make a square. This has a green and blue border. There are no green or blue tiles anywhere in the square except on this border. How many tiles are there in the set?
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.
Points P, Q, R and S each divide the sides AB, BC, CD and DA respectively in the ratio of 2 : 1. Join the points. What is the area of the parallelogram PQRS in relation to the original rectangle?
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
What 3D shapes occur in nature. How efficiently can you pack these shapes together?
Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
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 a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we didn't...?
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 could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?
Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?
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?
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
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. . . .
Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two different distances between them?
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.