Resources tagged with: Generalising

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Generalising

Egyptian Fractions

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.

Keep it Simple

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

Snake Coils

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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.

Special Sums and Products

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.

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?

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 ...?

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?

Centred Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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.

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. . . .

Domino Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?

Sum Equals Product

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 � 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so. . . .

More Twisting and Turning

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...

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.

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?

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?

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?

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.

Sliding Puzzle

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.

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?

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?

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.

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?

Tiling

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

Seven Squares - Group-worthy Task

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?

Arithmagons

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?

Partitioning Revisited

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4

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?

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

Doplication

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?

Nim-like Games

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

A collection of games on the NIM theme

Winning Lines

Age 7 to 16

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

Cuisenaire Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?

How Much Can We Spend?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?

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?

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?

Tumbling Down

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?

Always, Sometimes or Never? Number

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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 More

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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.

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.

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?

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?

Surprising Split

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

Division Rules

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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?

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.