Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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

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Consecutive Negative Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

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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.

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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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Quadrilaterals

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?

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Professional Circles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?

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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.

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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'.

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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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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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An Introduction to Magic Squares

Age 7 to 16

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

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Home City

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.

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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?

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9 Weights

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?

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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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Dodecamagic

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?

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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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Finding All Possibilities Upper Primary

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.

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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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More Magic Potting Sheds

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?

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Number Daisy

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?

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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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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.

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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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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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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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Crack the Code

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?

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Tri.'s

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?

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Bunny Hop

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?

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Counting Cards

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?

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Family Tree

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.

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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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Possible Pieces

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?

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Read This Page

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Replace the letters with numbers to make the addition work out correctly. R E A D + T H I S = P A G E

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Uncanny Triangles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?

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Red Even

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals have an even number of red counters?

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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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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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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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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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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?

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Squares in Rectangles

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

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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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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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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?

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Cover the Tray

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.

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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?

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This Pied Piper of Hamelin

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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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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?

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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 to have an ordered approach.