Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Mathematical Thinking > Working systematically

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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Count the Trapeziums

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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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?

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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?

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Polydron

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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Two by One

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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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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?

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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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Numerically Equal

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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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?

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Making Boxes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?

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Making Cuboids

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4 units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different cuboids can you make?

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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.

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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?

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Buying a Balloon

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?

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Is a Square a Rectangle?

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are differently sized and which are 'similar'?

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Seven Flipped

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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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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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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.

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Triangles All Around

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and find their angles?

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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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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?

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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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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.

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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.

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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?