Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Working systematically

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One Out One Under

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top, put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you predict the last card?

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Games Related to Nim

Age 5 to 16

This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.

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Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Age 5 to 18 Challenge Level:

Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.

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Twin Line-swapping Sudoku

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.

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The Naked Pair in Sudoku

Age 7 to 16

A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.

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Consecutive Negative Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

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Instant Insanity

Age 11 to 18 Challenge Level:

Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.

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Maths Trails

Age 7 to 14

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

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Read This Page

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Replace the letters with numbers to make the addition work out correctly. R E A D + T H I S = P A G E

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Colour in the Square

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?

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Constellation Sudoku

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Special clue numbers related to the difference between numbers in two adjacent cells and values of the stars in the "constellation" make this a doubly interesting problem.

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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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Ratio Sudoku 3

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

A Sudoku with clues as ratios or fractions.

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Integrated Product Sudoku

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

This Sudoku puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers on the border lines between pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid.

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Magic Caterpillars

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Label the joints and legs of these graph theory caterpillars so that the vertex sums are all equal.

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The Great Weights Puzzle

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?

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Tea Cups

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.

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Peaches Today, Peaches Tomorrow...

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Whenever a monkey has peaches, he always keeps a fraction of them each day, gives the rest away, and then eats one. How long could he make his peaches last for?

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Number Daisy

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?

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Spot the Card

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

It is possible to identify a particular card out of a pack of 15 with the use of some mathematical reasoning. What is this reasoning and can it be applied to other numbers of cards?

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More on Mazes

Age 7 to 14

There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.

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Pole Star Sudoku 2

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?

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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.

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Rectangle Outline Sudoku

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers 1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.

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Rainstorm Sudoku

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku

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Sticky Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

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A Long Time at the Till

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?

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Advent Calendar 2011 - Secondary

Age 11 to 18 Challenge Level:

Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

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An Introduction to Magic Squares

Age 7 to 16

Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!

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Magic W

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find all the ways of placing the numbers 1 to 9 on a W shape, with 3 numbers on each leg, so that each set of 3 numbers has the same total.

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Two and Two

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.

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9 Weights

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?

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Window Frames

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.

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Tetrahedra Tester

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles. Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?

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Twin Chute-swapping Sudoku

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

A pair of Sudokus with lots in common. In fact they are the same problem but rearranged. Can you find how they relate to solve them both?

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Squares in Rectangles

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

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Olympic Magic

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

in how many ways can you place the numbers 1, 2, 3 … 9 in the nine regions of the Olympic Emblem (5 overlapping circles) so that the amount in each ring is the same?

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Neighbourly Addition

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?

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How Old Are the Children?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A student in a maths class was trying to get some information from her teacher. She was given some clues and then the teacher ended by saying, "Well, how old are they?"

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M, M and M

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?

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More Magic Potting Sheds

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?

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Intersection Sudoku 1

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

A Sudoku with a twist.

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Ratio Sudoku 2

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

A Sudoku with clues as ratios.

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Ben's Game

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.

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Integrated Sums Sudoku

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

The puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers which are either placed on the border lines between selected pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid or placed after slash marks on. . . .

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Fence It

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?

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Isosceles Triangles

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?

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Twin Corresponding Sudokus II

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.

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Cayley

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?

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Intersection Sums Sudoku

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.