Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Mathematical Thinking > Working systematically

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Jigsaw Pieces

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?

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Waiting for Blast Off

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

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Map Folding

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

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Shunting Puzzle

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

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Snakes

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Explore the different snakes that can be made using 5 cubes.

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3 Blocks Towers

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Take three differently coloured blocks - maybe red, yellow and blue. Make a tower using one of each colour. How many different towers can you make?

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Multilink Cubes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?

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Four Triangles Puzzle

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back together?

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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.

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Cuboid-in-a-box

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?

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Counters

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

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Triangle Animals

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

How many different ways can you find to join three equilateral triangles together? Can you convince us that you have found them all?

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Penta Place

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can create?

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Tetrafit

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover an eight by eight chessboard?

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Inside Triangles

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?

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Tessellate the Triominoes

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?

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Cover the Camel

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Can you cover the camel with these pieces?

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The Third Dimension

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?

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Creating Cubes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.

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Tangram Tangle

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

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?

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Triangle Edges

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?

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Brush Loads

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.

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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?

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Nine-pin Triangles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?

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Single Track

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?

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Putting Two and Two Together

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

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Open Boxes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

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Display Boards

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.

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Seven Flipped

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.

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Knight's Swap

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?

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Three Sets of Cubes, Two Surfaces

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

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Cereal Packets

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?

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Button-up

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?

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A Square of Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?

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Tri-five

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find all the different shapes that can be made by joining five equilateral triangles edge to edge.

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Winning the Lottery

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the chance of winning?

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Wag Worms

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.

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Seating Arrangements

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.

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Four Colours

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.

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How Many Times?

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight and 7 a.m.?

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Team Scream

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with each of the others. What was the total number rides?

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Button-up Some More

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?

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Calendar Cubes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.

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Shaping Up

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?

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Painting Possibilities

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Ordered Ways of Working Upper Primary

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.

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Symmetry Challenge

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square lattice paper to record your results.

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Triangles All Around

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and find their angles?

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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.

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Folded Number Line

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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'.