Resources tagged with: Generalising

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Generalising

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?

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. . . .

Mirror, Mirror...

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.

...on the Wall

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.

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.

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?

Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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?

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?

Steel Cables

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

Who Is the Fairest of Them All ?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Explore the effect of combining enlargements.

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?

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.

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?

Hypotenuse Lattice Points

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?

Route to Infinity

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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?

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?

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.

Cuboid Challenge

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?

Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

Squares, Squares and More Squares

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9, 12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?

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?

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?

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.

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?

Train Spotters' Paradise

Age 11 to 16

Dave Hewitt suggests that there might be more to mathematics than looking at numerical results, finding patterns and generalising.

Sums of Pairs

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”

AMGM

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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

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?

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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.

Arithmagons

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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.

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.

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.

Winning Lines

Age 7 to 16

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

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?

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.

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.

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.

Nim-like Games

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

A collection of games on the NIM theme

Keep it Simple

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

Regular Hexagon Loops

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?

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.

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?

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.

Dicing with Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?