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Tutor Time Maths Puzzles – Sixth Form

September 1, 2015

I have a sixth form tutor group (year 12 and 13 mixed) and this year, it’s going to be made up of students taking maths. This is obviously pretty exciting and I want to make sure we use our tutor times productively. This means I’ll be looking out for maths puzzles and non-maths puzzles too.

On the latest episode of Wrong, But Useful, I asked for people to suggest puzzles and I’m going to try and collate them here. I’m looking for a variety in the maths ones so I’d like some that take a while to solve, some that are quick but interesting and several which are not part of the A level maths course. I do want them to be stuck sometimes but I don’t want them stuck all the time.

I may well make use of some puzzle books I already own (such as Rob Eastaway’s Mindbenders and Brainteasers) and I’ll probably make use of the Guardian’s puzzles – particularly for Alex Bellos’s maths puzzles (example here) and the crosswords.

Here’s what I’ve been sent and/or found so far:

Colin Beveridge – Grid of Sums puzzle

________________(I’ve used the ones above this line)__________________

Alex Bellos on the Guardian

Colin Beveridge suggested I check out the work of Chris Maslanka on the guardian – example here

A puzzle from @KathrynHTaylor via @peterrowlett about 50 people trying to sit in 50 seats on an aeroplane.

This tweet from @Standupmaths “Puzzle again: No calculations. Guessing only. From centre of a sphere, what percent of radius do you need to move to pass half the volume?”

Dominika @Dragon_Dodo – The one about wrapping a rope tightly round the equator then getting everyone to lift it up 1 metre all the way round. How much extra rope do you need?

From Things to make and do in 4D – Put the numbers 1 to 16 in a list so each adjacent pair sums to a square number.

@Joanne_Godding suggested as a possibility. It is aimed at younger students but will likely be adaptable.

@tessmaths suggested @solvemymaths blogroll and site in general

@solvemymaths linked me to an ‘old’ set of puzzles in pdf form.

Please send me your links and suggestions and I’ll add them here.


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  1. Carnival of Mathematics | cavmaths

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