Puzzles & Games

I do enjoy puzzles and the Christmas break offers time for more! During the Summer of 2021, I incorporated a series of pages, Puzzles & Games on this blog, available from the top menu. Since then new additions can be found in all categories; you can see from the index that you can try puzzles and games by category as well as access collections.

To highlight just a few of this large collection…

Nrich features on many pages including reading; Nrich has many excellent articles on the use of games in the classroom; hence a Reading page.


On Geometry of course follow Catriona Agg who regularly posts new puzzles and has made her collection of screenshots freely available.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Catriona-Agg-Screenshots.jpg
Catriona Agg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Catriona-Agg.jpg

Following each puzzle, you can find a discussion on the puzzle. Have a look at this puzzle and discussion for example.

In response to this puzzle, you can see various solutions including an Autograph file created by Rob Smith. Rob has this up to change both squares and you can move also move a point on the smaller square.

Here’s a recent puzzle you can see with many replies:

Another brilliant Geometry puzzle author is Ed Southall who made 40 puzzles available to celebrate his 40th birthday earlier this year; he has also provided slides for teachers. Check his Geometry Cheat Sheet.


The collections page includes sites many sites featuring numerous resources.

Mathigon puzzles and games

For example for some very attractively presented Puzzles and Games – try Mathigon.


In the category Probability and Statistics games…

Guess the Correlation
Guess the Correlation – Omar Wagih

The collection includes from Cambridge PhD student, Omar Wagih ‘Guess the Correlation‘, a rather addictive game with a purpose – Omar Wagih is collecting the data on the guesses collected and using it to analyse how we perceive correlations in scatter plots. Select About to read the rules and further details.


Algebra includes the lovely SolveMe mobiles puzzles.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is menu.jpg

Or for a rather different approach, try Shuttle Mission Workshop from Math Playground where students build and solve their own visual math puzzles. Play Shuttle Mission Pro first to practise.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is PEMDAS-Exhibit.jpg
Math Playground – PEMDAS Exhibit

On Number, Math Playground, PEMDAS Exhibit provides great practice for order of operations. Touch an operation to form that part of the operation.


The Underground Maths page includes several resources on puzzles and games.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is underground-maths-equation-sudoku.jpg

Underground Maths – Equation Sudoku

From Underground Maths try Equation Sudoku for example.

We can write down equations:
c+g+k=17

f+g+a =19

m+k+c =16

and so on.

As always on Underground Maths we have suggestions and a complete solution as well as printable/supporting materials.

Christmas Cards

Dr Tom Bennison

I have used many of Tom Bennison’s resources, including his Christmas colouring for A Level students – these make perfect Christmas activities for older students. For more cards have a look at Tom’s Christmas themed resources.


Chalkdust 2021

For the last few years, I have made Christmas Cards for students using Chalkdust resources, Matthew Scroggs has designed the 2021 Chalkdust card. You can use an interactive or pdf version. The 2021 card contains 14 puzzles.

See also the cards from 202020192018, and 2017.

space


GCHQ Christmas 2021

Recently published, is this year’s official Christmas card from Director, Sir Jeremy Fleming. Each year the card contains a festive brainteaser, this year’s card has seven puzzles that have been specially designed for 11 to 18-year-olds. GCHQ is encouraging everyone to test their skills and see if they can complete the challenge.

For more puzzles, a search on the GCHQ site returns many puzzles to keep you busy! We can also search on Christmas, this search returns cards and Christmas puzzles from earlier years.


For arts and craft lovers – construct a Christmas card from Clarissa Grandi on Artful Maths. I see for 2017, Clarissa used Spirograph, a great idea for Christmas cards. As a child, my Spirograph was definitely a favourite toy, if you don’t have a Spirograph set you could use this brilliant 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! Now there’s an app too – Spirograph on your phone!

Inspirograph by Nathan Friend

Or we could create cards with Desmos designs!


Christmas Update

New resources have been added to the Christmas Mathematics Resources and Mathematical Advent Calendar pages.

See also some other updates including guidance on advance information for Summer 2022 examinations.

From Matthew Scroggs – try his Advent Calendar for 2021; behind each day (except Christmas Day), there is a puzzle with a three-digit answer, solve the puzzles to help Santa have a successful test flight so that he can deliver presents; you can read all the details in his post.

Also from Matthew, look at his great Christmas cards, I have made several of these for students. The 2021 Chalkdust card contains 14 puzzles and can be used interactively or you can download a pdf version. See also the cards from 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017.


Perton Maths Department continues to provide us with Christmas challenges.


MEI has been sharing Christmas activities, see #MEIChristmas. I do like Building 3D Fractals from Think Maths.


From STEM Learning, we have Christmas – 21, a collection of Christmas-themed resources for STEM subjects including Maths.

One of the STEM resources is Christmas Puzzles; The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) published four seasonal puzzles from Amusements in Mathematics by Henry Ernest Dudeney, published in 1917, in their Secondary magazine. I have mentioned Henry Ernest Dudeney’s – Amusements in Mathematics before (see Free Books), the Kindle edition is free. Several categories of puzzles are available. A search on Christmas returned 23 puzzles, solutions are all provided.


Try this logic puzzle from Sarah Carter – Reindeer Logic Puzzle and note her collection of Christmas resources.


Updates

Exams and Assessments 2022 – the exam boards have published guidance on advance information that will be provided for summer 2022 exams.

NCETM has published a very useful introduction to the DfE guidance on teaching maths at KS3.

Try Jonathan Hall’s lovely Place Value Chart on Mathsbot.

I do like this visual representation of Euclid’s Algorithm highlighted by Bernie Westacott. The GeoGebra resource is by David Wees.

Murderous Maths regularly publish puzzles; check their puzzles page. This has been added to my puzzles collection.

From Deb Friis, see Disciplinary literacy in maths and also part 2. Both posts have been added to my post on Literacy Skills in Mathematics.

Mathematical Miscellany #62

Featuring…

  • Christmas resources
  • Advent Updates
  • From Advent…to Appvent
  • Updates including the brilliant Interwoven Maths from Nathan Day, Bingo retrieval activities from Dan Rodriguez-Clark and pages from MEI on the Use of Technology from Primary to KS5.
Teachit Maths

Included in the collection of Christmas Resources from Teachit Maths we have The twelve days of Christmas budget, twelve challenges for students to practise percentages. The resource mentions The PNC Christmas Price Index, an annual tradition from PNC Bank which shows the current cost for one set of each of the gifts given in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” For craft lovers note the Christmas Crafts with full instructions on how to make the12 gifts from the Christmas Price Index.


For A level students, how about some Christmas Mechanics?! This resource is a collection of six legacy M1 past paper questions covering some of the Edexcel M1 syllabus with a Christmas theme. The questions are taken from 2004 exam papers.


From the brilliant Mathigon site, see Puzzles 2021, and perhaps have a look back at their puzzles from earlier years. Mathigon releases a puzzle at 9 am GMT every day in December; solutions are available on the following day.

Mathigon Puzzles 2021

In my post earlier this week, Advent – Opening the Christmath doors, I mentioned that some of these Advent calendar resources, provide useful for end of term Christmas activities for examination classes. In this category we have for example:

JCalderwood revision
J Calderwood – Advent Calendars

J Calderwood has provided three Advent Calendars – Advanced Higher, HIgher and N5 Maths for Scottish Students. A great revision resource that could be adapted for different courses.

Access Maths Christmas Revision

Alternatively how about a Christmas Revision Calendar from Access Maths? Scroll right down this collection of very helpful GCSE Revision Resources for two Christmas Calendars, one for Foundation and one for Higher.

Staying with Advent, for some great apps, switch to an Appvent Calendar from Mark Anderson, follow #AppventCalendar to see each day’s app.


Updates – December 2021

An amazing new set of resources to explore from Nathan Day, Interwoven Maths, you can read Nathan’s description, What is Interweaving.

Added to Bingo resources, try these Bingo retrieval activities from Dan Rodriguez-Clark. This generator has several settings giving you a choice of topics, including some for Post 16, the number of questions and your chosen display settings.

Added to Use of Technology, for excellent advice and resources see these MEI pages:

Advent – Open the Christmath Doors!

It’s December! So many mathsy doors to open!
See my updated Advent Calendar collection.

Now it’s December – you can open Transum door 1 to reveal this gem!

Transum Dec 1st
Transum Maths Advent Calendar

I do like this Dec 1st Transum activity. Use the given palette to make sure that all the trees are decorated differently – brilliant for thinking about systematic listing strategies. Note the different levels available.

Look at all the wonderful collections on Nrich on Working Systematically.


Staying with Nrich…

Charlie said: “Alison, think of a two-digit number. Reverse the digits and add your answer to your original number. I bet your answer is a multiple of 11.”

Choose Dec 1st on the Nrich Secondary Calendar to try Always a Multiple and see Charlie’s Number Trick. For December 1st on the Primary Calendar, we have Order, Order!


For more on being systematic, we could work out how many triangles are inside the 5-pointed Christmas star on the Problem Solving Calendar from Mark Dawes. Mark has provided useful worksheets to accompany some problems including this one.


Looking again at some of these Advent calendar resources, I think many are useful for end of term Christmas activities for examination classes. In this category we have for example:

JCalderwood revision

J Calderwood has provided three Advent Calendars – Advanced Higher, HIgher and N5 Maths for Scottish Students. A great revision resource that could be adapted for different courses.

Access Maths Christmas Revision

Alternatively how about a Christmas Revision Calendar from Access Maths? Scroll right down this collection of very helpful GCSE Revision Resources for two Christmas Calendars, one for Foundation and one for Higher.