Mathematical Investigation

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A mathematical investigation is quite different to other mathematical activities. The best investigations are open ended and allow students to choose the way they work and how they record their findings. It is one of the few occasions when 'going off on a tangent' is not only acceptable but actively encouraged (within reason).

Students may ask for 'the answers' but this supposes that the activity is closed. Investigations can always be extended by varying the initial instructions or asking the question 'what if...?'. Sometimes students point out that the instructions are ambiguous and can be interpreted in different ways. This is fine and the students are encouraged to explain how they interpreted the instructions in their report.

Some students may benefit from a writing frame when producing the reports of their investigations. Teachers may suggest sections or headings such as Introduction, Interpretation, Research, Working and Conclusion or something similar.

Here are some other activities you may be interested in:

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Connect 4 Factors

Connect 4 Factors

A mathematical version of the popular Connect 4 game based on getting four numbers with a common factor in a line. Fun for one, two or a whole class of pupils.

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Don't Shoot The Square

Don't Shoot The Square

You will need to be quick on the draw to shoot all of the numbers except the square numbers. So far this activity has been accessed 57808 times and 473 people have earned a Transum Trophy for completing it.

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