Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Working systematically

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Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Age 5 to 18 Challenge Level:

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.

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The Naked Pair in Sudoku

Age 7 to 16

A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.

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Paw Prints

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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?

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Late Again

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?

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More on Mazes

Age 7 to 14

There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.

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Train Routes

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

This train line has two tracks which cross at different points. Can you find all the routes that end at Cheston?

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Inky Cube

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?

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Simple Train Journeys

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many different journeys could you make if you were going to visit four stations in this network? How about if there were five stations? Can you predict the number of journeys for seven stations?

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Games Related to Nim

Age 5 to 16

This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.

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Delia's Routes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

A little mouse called Delia lives in a hole in the bottom of a tree.....How many days will it be before Delia has to take the same route again?

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Fifteen Cards

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?

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Half Time

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?

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Journeys in Numberland

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.

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Ordered Ways of Working Lower Primary

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

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

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Rolling That Cube

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

My dice has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has taken? What does each face look like?

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ABC

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?

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Different Deductions

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There are lots of different methods to find out what the shapes are worth - how many can you find?

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Number Sandwiches

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 to make a Number Sandwich?

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Dice Stairs

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?

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A Right Charlie

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?

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Bean Bags for Bernard's Bag

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?

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Name the Children

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this line?

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Zargon Glasses

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?

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Forgot the Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

On my calculator I divided one whole number by another whole number and got the answer 3.125. If the numbers are both under 50, what are they?

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Page Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Short Challenge Level:

Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book. How many pages does the book have?

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Six Is the Sum

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?

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The Add and Take-away Path

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Two children made up a game as they walked along the garden paths. Can you find out their scores? Can you find some paths of your own?

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Difference

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.

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Route Product

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?

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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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Colour in the Square

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?

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The Puzzling Sweet Shop

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?

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Seven Square Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square of another, larger, number.

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Two Egg Timers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you measure and how?

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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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Prison Cells

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?

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Area and Perimeter

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.

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Dart Target

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.

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Open Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?

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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

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Coded Hundred Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?

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Octa Space

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get from Planet A to Planet Zargon?

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Pouring the Punch Drink

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.

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Snails' Trails

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?

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2,4,6,8

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can you make?

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A Shapely Network

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.

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Polo Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

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All Seated

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?

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Sums and Differences 2

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?

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Mrs Beeswax

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?