Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Working systematically

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.

Numerically Equal

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

Polydron

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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?

Brush Loads

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.

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?

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?

Magazines

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16 pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.

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?

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?

Cover the Tray

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

Street Party

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.

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.

More Transformations on a Pegboard

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

Tri.'s

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

Crossing the Town Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.

Rod Area

Age 7 to 11

This task challenges you to create symmetrical U shapes out of rods and find their areas.

Area and Perimeter

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.

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?

Halloween Investigation

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?

3 Rings

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?

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?

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.

Cubes Here and There

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?

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?

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?

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.

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?

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.

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?

Quadrilaterals

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

A Shapely Network

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.

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.

Tiling

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.

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?

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?

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?

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.

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?

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. . . .

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?

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.

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.

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.

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?