Resources tagged with: Generalising

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Generalising

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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?

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. . . .

Cunning Card Trick

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?

Triangle Numbers

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?

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. . . .

Harmonic Triangle

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?

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?

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

Take Three from Five

Age 11 to 16
Challenge Level

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

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?”

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?

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.

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?

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.

Keep it Simple

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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

AMGM

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

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

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.

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. . . .

Charitable Pennies

Age 7 to 14
Challenge Level

Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.

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?

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?

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. . . .

Steps to the Podium

Age 7 to 14
Challenge Level

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

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?

Have You Got It?

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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

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. . . .

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. . . .

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?

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?

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?

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.

Handshakes

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

Mystic Rose

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.

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?

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?

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.

Beach Huts

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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

Counting Factors

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Is there an efficient way to work out how many factors a large number has?