Resources tagged with: Generalising

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Generalising

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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.

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?

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?

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Cunning Card Trick

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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 14 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?

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.

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?

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?

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?

Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

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.

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?

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.

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. . . .

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?

AMGM

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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?

Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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.

Cuboid Challenge

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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.

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?

Route to Infinity

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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?

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?

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?

Steps to the Podium

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Coordinate Patterns

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?

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?

Winning Lines

Age 7 to 16

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

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.

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?

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?

Charitable Pennies

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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?

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.

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?

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

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.

What Numbers Can We Make?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?