Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Working systematically

Centred Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

The Moons of Vuvv

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?

Multiplication Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used once and once only.

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?

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.

Build it Up

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.

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?

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 ...?

Ice Cream

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.

Newspapers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?

Halloween Investigation

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?

It's All about 64

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.

Plates of Biscuits

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?

Broken Toaster

Age 7 to 11 Short Challenge Level:

Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?

Seven Pots of Plants

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.

Magazines

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16 pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.

3 Rings

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?

Rearranged Rectangle

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many different rectangles can you make using this set of rods?

Street Party

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.

Stairs

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.

The Dice Train

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This dice train has been made using specific rules. How many different trains can you make?

Greater Than or Less Than?

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use the numbers and symbols to make this number sentence correct. How many different ways can you find?

Sealed Solution

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?

One to Fifteen

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?

How Long Does it Take?

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How long does it take to brush your teeth? Can you find the matching length of time?

Ribbon Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?

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!

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?

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?

Calendar Sorting

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The pages of my calendar have got mixed up. Can you sort them out?

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.

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....?

School Fair Necklaces

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many possible necklaces can you find? And how do you know you've found them all?

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.

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?

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?

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'.

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. . . .

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?

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.

Encouraging Primary Children to Work Systematically

Age 3 to 11

This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.

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.

Money Bags

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?

Tiling

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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.?

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.

Eight Queens

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.

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?

Ancient Runes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works using the table of the alphabet?

Multiply Multiples 2

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?