Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Working systematically

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?

Spell by Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?

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?

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?

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?

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?

Shape Times Shape

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

These eleven shapes each stand for a different number. Can you use the number sentences to work out what they are?

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?

Pair Sums

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?

Cinema Problem

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.

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?

Multiply the Addition Square

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?

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?

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?

Adding Plus

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99 How many ways can you do it?

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?

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.

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?

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.

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. . . .

Half Time

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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!

Plate Spotting

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M. What order were they in?

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?

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?

Fractions in a Box

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The discs for this game are kept in a flat square box with a square hole for each. Use the information to find out how many discs of each colour there are in the box.

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.

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.

How Much Did it Cost?

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.

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.?

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.

Team Scream

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with each of the others. What was the total number rides?

Today's Date - 01/06/2009

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates yourself.

Diagonal Product Sudoku

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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?

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?

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?

Factor Lines

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.

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.

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.

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?

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.

Special Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?

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.

Integrated Product Sudoku

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

This Sudoku puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers on the border lines between pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid.

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!

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?

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?