Maths Without Limits
Opening Young Minds to Endless Possibilities
Encouraging Open-ended Exploration

Over the years, some educationalists have advocated allowing children to simply discover maths for themselves.  This has been shown not to work.  The alternative extreme of attempting simply to fill children’s heads with facts and routines may appear to be successful in getting some pupils through examinations, but it fundamentally fails to help pupils to understand maths and to be able to apply their knowledge in new and unfamiliar contexts.

Providing children with opportunities for structured exploration can help with this.  The idea is to help them to acquire a toolkit of strategies which they are then guided to use as they explore a series of open-ended questions.

Much of the guidance and many of the activities on the Maths Without Limits website are designed to support this approach.  You might like to begin by exploring these.

###### How much can we learn about multiples and factors?

This activity is aimed at children who have a basic experience of multiples and factors and whose learning needs to be consolidated or deepened. It is in three parts. Part 1 explores multiples, Part...

###### Problem Solving Through Dialogue

Many teachers will introduce a new idea in a Maths lesson by presenting a problem and then getting the class to suggest possible answers. These will be discussed and the teacher will lead the class...

###### How Big is the Room?

This activity begins with an open group challenge to find out how big the room is.  This naturally leads into learning about measurement equivalences and averaging.  There is enough material in the...

###### Lines, Angles and Shapes

This single resource allows for the consolidation and development of a wide range of mathematical skills and concepts, covering line, angle, shape, symmetry, area and proportionality.  It can be...

###### How Many Different Kinds of Triangle Are There?

How many different kinds of triangle are there? Can you have a triangle with two obtuse angles? These and other questions are all explored in this practical investigation using geostrips (or...

###### Multiplication Rectangles and Factor Rainbows

An engaging investigation into multiplication and the concept of factors.  Investigate which numbers have few factors and which have lots. Explore square numbers and look at the ‘specialness’ of the...