This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16
pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these
pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
How many different sets of numbers with at least four members can
you find in the numbers in this box?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
There are ten children in Becky's group. Can you find a set of
numbers for each of them? Are there any other sets?
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
These pictures were made by starting with a square, finding the half-way point on each side and joining those points up. You could investigate your own starting shape.
I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about
the relationship between them?
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
Investigate and explain the patterns that you see from recording
just the units digits of numbers in the times tables.
This activity asks you to collect information about the birds you
see in the garden. Are there patterns in the data or do the birds
seem to visit randomly?
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.
In this investigation, you are challenged to make mobile phone
numbers which are easy to remember. What happens if you make a
sequence adding 2 each time?
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must
go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If
the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which
stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these
tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the
outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you
find for me to take?
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?
What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How
about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you
can predict what will happen.
In this investigation, we look at Pascal's Triangle in a slightly different way - rotated and with the top line of ones taken off.
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
Investigate the different shaped bracelets you could make from 18 different spherical beads. How do they compare if you use 24 beads?
Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the
paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles
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?
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!
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
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?
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
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?
Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Explore one of these five pictures.
In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s, 3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
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?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean
in the context of primary classrooms.
"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 ...?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
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?
Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What
would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start