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Number Squares

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different numbers and different rules.

It Was 2010!

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?

Calendar Patterns

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice about the answers?

Street Sequences

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street in different ways.

Magic Constants

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?

Abundant Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?

Sometimes We Lose Things

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Well now, what would happen if we lost all the nines in our number system? Have a go at writing the numbers out in this way and have a look at the multiplications table.

Homes

Stage: 1 Challenge Level:

There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different combinations of these can you find?

Sending and Receiving Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?

Exploring Number Patterns You Make

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?

Alien Counting

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Investigate the different ways these aliens count in this challenge. You could start by thinking about how each of them would write our number 7.

Balance of Halves

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Investigate this balance which is marked in halves. If you had a weight on the left-hand 7, where could you hang two weights on the right to make it balance?

Newspapers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?

Are You a Smart Shopper?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

In my local town there are three supermarkets which each has a special deal on some products. If you bought all your shopping in one shop, where would be the cheapest?

So It's 28

Stage: 1 Challenge Level:

Here is your chance to investigate the number 28 using shapes, cubes ... in fact anything at all.

Times

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Which times on a digital clock have a line of symmetry? Which look the same upside-down? You might like to try this investigation and find out!

Sorting the Numbers

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

Complete these two jigsaws then put one on top of the other. What happens when you add the 'touching' numbers? What happens when you change the position of the jigsaws?

Sticky Triangles

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

Tiling

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.

Colouring Triangles

Stage: 1 Challenge Level:

Explore ways of colouring this set of triangles. Can you make symmetrical patterns?

Taking a Die for a Walk

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

Investigate the numbers that come up on a die as you roll it in the direction of north, south, east and west, without going over the path it's already made.

2 Rings

Stage: 1 Challenge Level:

The red ring is inside the blue ring in this picture. Can you rearrange the rings in different ways? Perhaps you can overlap them or put one outside another?

Polo Square

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

Opening Out

Stage: 1 and 2

Bernard Bagnall describes how to get more out of some favourite NRICH investigations.

Caterpillars

Stage: 1 Challenge Level:

These caterpillars have 16 parts. What different shapes do they make if each part lies in the small squares of a 4 by 4 square?

Calcunos

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

Tessellating Transformations

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why not?

Ip Dip

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

"Ip dip sky blue! Who's 'it'? It's you!" Where would you position yourself so that you are 'it' if there are two players? Three players ...?

Month Mania

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?

Polygonals

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.

Triangular Hexagons

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Investigate these hexagons drawn from different sized equilateral triangles.

Street Party

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.

The Domesday Project

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Take a look at these data collected by children in 1986 as part of the Domesday Project. What do they tell you? What do you think about the way they are presented?

Olympic Rings

Stage: 1 Challenge Level:

This problem is intended to get children to look really hard at something they will see many times in the next few months.

The Great Tiling Count

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in Cambridge.

Eye View

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?

Tiles in the Garden

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?

Ice Cream

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.

Doplication

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?

Gran, How Old Are You?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?

3 Rings

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?

Lost Books

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?

Halloween Investigation

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?

Lawn Border

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each time?

Count the Digits

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s, 3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?

It Figures

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?

Room Doubling

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.

Two by One

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.