Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Mathematical Thinking > Working systematically

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?

Ladybird Box

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.

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?

Build it up More

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!

Hubble, Bubble

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears, yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?

Code Breaker

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?

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.

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.

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?

Sums and Differences 1

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.

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?

On Target

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?

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?

Magic Potting Sheds

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?

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 ...?

1 to 8

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.

Latin Lilies

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

Have a go at this game which has been inspired by the Big Internet Math-Off 2019. Can you gain more columns of lily pads than your opponent?

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?

Fake Gold

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake bar?

It Figures

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?

Pasta Timing

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?

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?

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!

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.

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.

A Bit of a Dicey Problem

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?

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.

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?

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?

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?

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.

Finding All Possibilities Upper Primary

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.

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?

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?

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. . . .

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?

Spell by Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?

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?

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.

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.

Junior Frogs

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?

Half Time

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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.

Two Primes Make One Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?

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?

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!

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?

Diagonal Product Sudoku

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?

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.

Wallpaper Sudoku

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.