Finding the nine

It is still Summer holiday time for some of us, so try this lovely puzzle. See plus magazine – Finding the nine. (There is a link to a very clear solution in the video). The

 

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Pose a Puzzle

Some wonderful puzzles here from Ed Southall on Solve My Maths.

Solve My Maths

Ah we all love a good puzzle. I’ve spoken a few times about my love of them, and it’s kind of inferred by almost everything on this website.

There are some great maths puzzles. Not only do they excite students in a way that perhaps no textbook page can, they also make you think. I don’t think any good puzzles can be done just by applying a mindless algorithm to a familiar looking structure.

I could write a billion words on puzzles so I’m going to have to be more specific. In my mind there are two kinds of maths puzzles.

Type 1 is the ‘one off’ puzzle. These can be presented, solved and moved to one side. Not that they aren’t great, they’re FANTASTIC, i write them all the time on this very website. Here are a couple of other great examples of this kind of puzzle:

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This one…

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Nrich Games

There are many recommendations for Nrich games on the pages of this site.

Some of the games chosen by Nrich

Some of the games chosen by Nrich

Note this selection of Games chosen by Nrich themselves, Secondary Interactive Resources which have been chosen for use in the computer room or on the whiteboard. The games are presented in order of difficulty; we have Countdown for example, but with Complex Numbers, Vectors and Matrices.

black-box-nrichThe Black Box Game requires some thinking outside the box!

More Lovely Puzzles!

To highlight some great puzzles…

Mathematics, Learning and Technology

A consistently popular post on this blog is ‘Lovely Puzzles‘ which has links to many puzzle sites which include mathematical puzzles. This seems a good time of year to investigate some of these further. A good puzzle for Christmas Eve perhaps (or any day!) would be ‘Make 24’.

Make 24 (1)

Can you make 24? You must use all the numbers once and you are allowed the four operations and brackets.
(Further information and solutions for Make 24 and other Number puzzles are listed on the Number page on Mathematics Games). Number puzzles like this can make excellent starters.

Other possibilities for puzzle-type lesson starters come from Erich Friedman who has a variety of Mathematical Puzzles; try his Weird Calculator Puzzles for example or these Number Formation Puzzles both of which would make ideal ‘Bell Work‘.

Untangle - Simon Tatham
Another great collection comes from Simon Tatham, I have been enjoying…

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Transum Maths Puzzles

Transum Tweet

Select Image for Transum’s Pu Wiange puzzle

I couldn’t resist this counter moving challenge – happy to report that I scored 20! Evidence in the image!
Pu Wiang

Update: 19 is the new record!Transum Pu Wiang Trophy

You can try more puzzles from Transum here.

There are plenty to try, all are attractively presented and easy to use. Fun to do but these puzzles will help students practise a variety of mathematical skills.

Some of these puzzles would make good lesson starters, for example the Magic Square puzzle or Prime Square.

Note – this has been added to the Puzzles page.

 

Spirograph

Play with the wonderful Spirograph!

Mathematics for Students

Spirograph by Nathan Friend Spirograph by Nathan Friend

As a child my Spirograph was definitely a favourite toy so I was delighted to find this digital version, Inspirograph by Nathan Friend. Try altering the gears so that the fixed and rotating gear are the same size, or make one size a factor of the other, make the two sizes have a common factor, or not! Investigate.

You can change the colours too and create a work of Art!

For some more Spirograph resources including from the awesome Desmos graphing calculator see this post.

Spirograph

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Find the Factors

Find the Factors

Find the Factors Puzzles – Iva Sallay

For a puzzle with a difference which requires both logic and multiplication try a Find the Factors puzzle from Iva Sallay on her Find the Factors blog. In this Find the Factors 1-10 puzzle can you place the numbers 1 to 10 in the first row and the first column to make the multiplication table work? Iva Sallay has clearly explained the puzzles here: How to Find the Factors.

New puzzles are published each week, I like the Excel files provided with puzzles of varying levels of difficulty. You will also find many hints and tips in the various posts. See Hooked on Factoring, for example, a post giving techniques for solving the puzzles and an Excel file of puzzles.