Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Mathematical Thinking > Working systematically

LOGO Challenge - Following On

Age 11 to 18 Challenge Level:

Remember that you want someone following behind you to see where you went. Can yo work out how these patterns were created and recreate them?

LOGO Challenge - the Logic of LOGO

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow your logic?

LOGO Challenge - Pentagram Pylons

Age 11 to 18 Challenge Level:

Pentagram Pylons - can you elegantly recreate them? Or, the European flag in LOGO - what poses the greater problem?

LOGO Challenge - Sequences and Pentagrams

Age 11 to 18 Challenge Level:

Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?

Count the Trapeziums

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many trapeziums, of various sizes, are hidden in this picture?

Torn Shapes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have inside it before it was ripped?

Shaping Up

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?

Polydron

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.

Four Triangles Puzzle

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back together?

LOGO Challenge - Triangles-squares-stars

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of procedures will help - variables not essential.

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?

Making Squares

Age 7 to 11

Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5 grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?

Square Corners

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?

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?

Peg and Pin Boards

Age 5 to 11

This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.

Sociable Cards

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Move your counters through this snake of cards and see how far you can go. Are you surprised by where you end up?

Order the Changes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn and of a bean seed growing into a plant?

Tiles on a Patio

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?

My New Patio

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?

Two by One

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.

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. . . .

Corresponding Sudokus

Age 11 to 18

This second Sudoku article discusses "Corresponding Sudokus" which are pairs of Sudokus with terms that can be matched using a substitution rule.

Fencing Lambs

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.

Colour Islands Sudoku 2

Age 11 to 18 Challenge Level:

In this Sudoku, there are three coloured "islands" in the 9x9 grid. Within each "island" EVERY group of nine cells that form a 3x3 square must contain the numbers 1 through 9.

Three Sets of Cubes, Two Surfaces

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

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?

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?

Chocs, Mints, Jellies

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?

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.

Quadrilaterals

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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!

Hexpentas

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?

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.

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.

Triangles to Tetrahedra

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?

More and More Buckets

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?

The Third Dimension

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?

Counters in the Middle

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.

Jigsaw Pieces

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?

Two on Five

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?

Tri-five

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find all the different shapes that can be made by joining five equilateral triangles edge to edge.

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.

Four Colours

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.

Shapes on the Playground

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Sally and Ben were drawing shapes in chalk on the school playground. Can you work out what shapes each of them drew using the clues?

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?

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.

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?

Room Doubling

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.

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.

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'.