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.
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
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.
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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.
There are ten children in Becky's group. Can you find a set of
numbers for each of them? Are there any other sets?
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?
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?
How many different sets of numbers with at least four members can
you find in the numbers in this box?
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.
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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!
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?
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.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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 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?
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
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?
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?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
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?
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?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
Investigate the different shaped bracelets you could make from 18 different spherical beads. How do they compare if you use 24 beads?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
How will you decide which way of flipping over and/or turning the grid will give you the highest total?
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?
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?
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these
tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why
Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean
in the context of primary classrooms.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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?
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s, 3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?
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 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?
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