Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
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.
A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.
A game for 2 players with similarities to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
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.
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?
Dave Hewitt suggests that there might be more to mathematics than looking at numerical results, finding patterns and generalising.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
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.
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.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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.
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
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?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
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
This article for primary teachers discusses how we can help learners generalise and prove, using NRICH tasks as examples.
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
These tasks give learners chance to generalise, which involves identifying an underlying structure.
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?
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. . . .
Draw a square. A second square of the same size slides around the first always maintaining contact and keeping the same orientation. How far does the dot travel?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Can you find a way of counting the spheres in these arrangements?
Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
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.
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?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
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?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
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?