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.
Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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.
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.
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
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.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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.
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
15 = 7 + 8 and 10 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
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.
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
Can you find a way of counting the spheres in these arrangements?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?
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
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.
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.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
This article for primary teachers discusses how we can help learners generalise and prove, using NRICH tasks as examples.
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?
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.
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. . . .
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
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?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
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?
Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.
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.
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?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
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.
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?