Resources tagged with: Generalising

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Generalising

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?

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?”

What's Possible?

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?

Beach Huts

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you figure out how sequences of beach huts are generated?

Chocolate Maths

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .

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. . . .

Plus Minus

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?

Sum Equals Product

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 � 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so. . . .

Regular Hexagon Loops

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Mind Reading

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .

Chocolate 2010

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to eat chocolate. Multiply this number by 2...

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?

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Repeaters

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.

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.

Odd Differences

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.

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?

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.

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.

More Twisting and Turning

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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.

Enclosing Squares

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Seven Squares - Group-worthy Task

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

Summing Consecutive Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

Nim-like Games

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

A collection of games on the NIM theme

Three Times Seven

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

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.

Adding in Rows

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?

AMGM

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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. . . .

Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

Lower Bound

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

Mini-max

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .

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.

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?

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?

Winning Lines

Age 7 to 16

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

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?

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

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?

How Much Can We Spend?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?

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?

What Numbers Can We Make Now?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

Steps to the Podium

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Magic Letters

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

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?

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?

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?

Gnomon Dimensions

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

These gnomons appear to have more than a passing connection with the Fibonacci sequence. This problem ask you to investigate some of these connections.

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?