Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
A red square and a blue square overlap so that the corner of the red square rests on the centre of the blue square. Show that, whatever the orientation of the red square, it covers a quarter of the. . . .
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?
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. . . .
A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .
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.
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
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?
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?
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
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?
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.
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?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just like the one I have here?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?
Take a look at the video of this trick. Can you perform it yourself? Why is this maths and not magic?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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?
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
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.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Does this 'trick' for calculating multiples of 11 always work? Why or why not?