Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Working systematically

Geoboards

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.

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?

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?

Cover the Tray

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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?

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?

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.

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?

Quadrilaterals

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

Tri.'s

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

Dicey Perimeter, Dicey Area

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?

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?

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.

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?

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.?

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?

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?

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.

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?

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?

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?

Crack the Code

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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!

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?

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.

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?

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....?

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?

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.

Nine-pin Triangles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?

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'.

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.

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?

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 Pet Graph

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the animal names under each column in the block graph using the information?

Numerically Equal

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal to the area?

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.

Counting on Letters

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word ABACUS from this triangular pattern?

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?

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?

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.

Through the Window

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?

Sticks and Triangles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of sticks that make the most triangles?

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.

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.

Teddy Town

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?

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?

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.