Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Mathematical Thinking > Working systematically

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?

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.

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.

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.

Crack the Code

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

Professional Circles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?

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?

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.

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?

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?

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.

Elf Suits

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?

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?

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.

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.

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?

Home City

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.

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.

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!

Finding All Possibilities Upper Primary

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.

Pouring the Punch Drink

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.

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?

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.

Building with Rods

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?

Coins (2)

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

Snails' Trails

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?

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?

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.?

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. . . .

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.

Rolling That Cube

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

My dice has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has taken? What does each face look like?

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?

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.

Button-up Some More

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?

Two Dots

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.

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?

Make Pairs

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the rules.

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?

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?

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?

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?

Sums and Differences 1

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.

A Right Charlie

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?

A Child Is Full of ...

Age 7 to 11 Short Challenge Level:

My cousin was 24 years old on Friday April 5th in 1974. On what day of the week was she born?

Sums and Differences 2

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?