Resources tagged with: Generalising

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Broad Topics > Mathematical Thinking > Generalising

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. . . .

Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

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.

Converging Means

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .

Nim-7

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?

Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

Have You Got It?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?

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.

Pentanim

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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

One, Three, Five, Seven

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

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.

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?

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.

Nim-like Games

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

A collection of games on the NIM theme

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?

Steps to the Podium

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

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?

Multiplication Arithmagons

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?

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?

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?

Winning Lines

Age 7 to 16

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

Nim

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The loser is the player who takes the last counter.

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.

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.

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.

Konigsberg Plus

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Make 37

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

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?

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?

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?

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?

Arithmagons

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

More Twisting and Turning

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

Enclosing Squares

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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?

Painted Cube

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?

AMGM

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

Shear Magic

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

Pair Products

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

Where Can We Visit?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

Picturing Square Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

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?

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?

Loopy

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Investigate sequences given by $a_n = \frac{1+a_{n-1}}{a_{n-2}}$ for different choices of the first two terms. Make a conjecture about the behaviour of these sequences. Can you prove your conjecture?

Tower of Hanoi

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

Building Gnomons

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.

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. . . .