Resources tagged with: Generalising

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Generalising

Always, Sometimes or Never? Number

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?

Odd Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is the number you’re left with odd or even? How do the images help to explain this?

Spirals, Spirals

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?

Walking the Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.

Generalising

Age 5 to 11

These tasks give learners chance to generalise, which involves identifying an underlying structure.

Always, Sometimes or Never?

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?

Crossings

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can make? And the greatest?

Three Dice

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?

Neighbourly Addition

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Number Differences

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?

Magic Vs

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?

Tiling

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

Magic Letters

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

Play to 37

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.

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?

One O Five

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .

Roll over the Dice

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Watch this video to see how to roll the dice. Now it's your turn! What do you notice about the dice numbers you have recorded?

Division Rules

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.

Repeaters

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.

Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

Winning Lines

Age 7 to 16

An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.

Go Forth and Generalise

Age 11 to 14

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

Centred Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.

Number Tracks

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?

Break it Up!

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.

Up and Down Staircases

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?

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.

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?

Strike it Out

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.

Surprising Split

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Does this 'trick' for calculating multiples of 11 always work? Why or why not?

Digit Addition

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?

Sitting Round the Party Tables

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.

Got it for Two

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?

Bundles of Cubes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Watch this animation. What do you notice? What happens when you try more or fewer cubes in a bundle?

Making Maths: Be a Mathemagician

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Surprise your friends with this magic square trick.

Charitable Pennies

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.

Build it Up

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.

Build it up More

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!

Mastering Mathematics: the Challenge of Generalising and Proof

Age 5 to 11

This article for primary teachers discusses how we can help learners generalise and prove, using NRICH tasks as examples.

Strike it Out for Two

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?

Nim-7 for Two

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?

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?

Journeys in Numberland

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.

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.

Round the Four Dice

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.

What Numbers Can We Make Now?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

Snake Coils

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.

Polygonals

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.

Adding in Rows

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?

What Numbers Can We Make?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?