This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
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
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
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?
I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about
the relationship between them?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
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?
There are ten children in Becky's group. Can you find a set of
numbers for each of them? Are there any other sets?
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?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
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?
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 a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
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 sets of numbers with at least four members can
you find in the numbers in this box?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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.
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?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
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.
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
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?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
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?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
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.
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.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Follow the directions for circling numbers in the matrix. Add all
the circled numbers together. Note your answer. Try again with a
different starting number. What do you notice?
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
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?
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?
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?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
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?
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?
In this investigation, we look at Pascal's Triangle in a slightly different way - rotated and with the top line of ones taken off.
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?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? Don't forget to keep visiting NRICH projects site for the latest developments and questions.
Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?
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?
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds.
What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
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?
"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 ...?
Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean
in the context of primary classrooms.