Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Working systematically

Neighbourly Addition

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?

Window Frames

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.

Take Three Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?

Maths Trails

Age 7 to 14

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

Curious Number

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?

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?

Arrangements

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?

An Introduction to Magic Squares

Age 7 to 16

Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!

First Connect Three

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Add or subtract the two numbers on the spinners and try to complete a row of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?

Tiling

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.

Lots of Lollies

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Frances and Rishi were given a bag of lollies. They shared them out evenly and had one left over. How many lollies could there have been in the bag?

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.

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.

Sticky Dice

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Throughout these challenges, the touching faces of any adjacent dice must have the same number. Can you find a way of making the total on the top come to each number from 11 to 18 inclusive?

Making Maths: Double-sided Magic Square

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?

A Bag of Marbles

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?

Reach 100

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.

Growing Garlic

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Can you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had?

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?

Magic Vs

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?

What Could it Be?

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

In this calculation, the box represents a missing digit. What could the digit be? What would the solution be in each case?

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.

Tea Cups

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.

Cuisenaire Counting

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a yellow rod using white and red rods?

Jumping Cricket

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

El Crico the cricket has to cross a square patio to get home. He can jump the length of one tile, two tiles and three tiles. Can you find a path that would get El Crico home in three jumps?

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?

Magnetic Personality

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?

Finding Fifteen

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?

Mixed-up Socks

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Start with three pairs of socks. Now mix them up so that no mismatched pair is the same as another mismatched pair. Is there more than one way to do it?

Rabbits in the Pen

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?

Whose Face?

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.

Mystery Matrix

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.

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.

Nineteen Hexagons

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What are the possible paths you could take?

Buying a Balloon

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?

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?

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.

Same Length Trains

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's and Katie's, using rods that are identical?

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?

Centred Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.

The Puzzling Sweet Shop

Age 5 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?

Sweets in a Box

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same colour are next to each other in any direction?

A-magical Number Maze

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a total of 15!

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?

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?

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?

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.

All the Digits

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?

Egyptian Rope

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?

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?