Resources tagged with: Generalising

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Generalising

Tilted Squares

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?

Dotty Triangles

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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?

Equilateral Areas

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

ABC and DEF are equilateral triangles of side 3 and 4 respectively. Construct an equilateral triangle whose area is the sum of the area of ABC and DEF.

Semi-square

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?

Areas of Parallelograms

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?

Squaring the Circle and Circling the Square

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.

Shear Magic

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Explore the area of families of parallelograms and triangles. Can you find rules to work out the areas?

Of All the Areas

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Can you find a general rule for finding the areas of equilateral triangles drawn on an isometric grid?

Overlap

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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. . . .

Polycircles

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Show that for any triangle it is always possible to construct 3 touching circles with centres at the vertices. Is it possible to construct touching circles centred at the vertices of any polygon?

In a Spin

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

What is the volume of the solid formed by rotating this right angled triangle about the hypotenuse?

2001 Spatial Oddity

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.

Generating Triples

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?

A Tilted Square

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?

Square Pizza

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?

Pick's Theorem

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter (p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship between p, i and the area of the polygons.

Pareq Calc

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .

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.

Route to Infinity

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

Attractive Tablecloths

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?

Hidden Rectangles

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?

Enclosing Squares

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?

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

Picturing Triangular Numbers

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

Multiplication Square

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

Partly Painted Cube

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?

Frogs

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

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.

Christmas Chocolates

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

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?

Jam

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

A game for 2 players

Got It

Age 7 to 14
Challenge Level

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.

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.

More Twisting and Turning

Age 11 to 16
Challenge Level

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

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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

Cubes Within Cubes Revisited

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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?

Tourism

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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.

AMGM

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?

Mindreader

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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. . . .

Maths Trails

Age 7 to 14

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.

Jam

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

Beelines

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?

Thank Your Lucky Stars

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

A counter is placed in the bottom right hand corner of a grid. You toss a coin and move the star according to the following rules: ... What is the probability that you end up in the top left-hand. . . .

Pinned Squares

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

What is the total number of squares that can be made on a 5 by 5 geoboard?

Window Frames

Age 5 to 14
Challenge Level

This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.

Magic Squares

Age 14 to 18

An account of some magic squares and their properties and and how to construct them for yourself.

More Magic Potting Sheds

Age 11 to 16
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?

Is There a Theorem?

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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?

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?

Elevenses

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?