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?
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?
Investigate and explain the patterns that you see from recording
just the units digits of numbers in the times tables.
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.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
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.
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.
How many different sets of numbers with at least four members can
you find in the numbers in this box?
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.
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.
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 investigation, we look at Pascal's Triangle in a slightly different way - rotated and with the top line of ones taken off.
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
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?
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.
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.
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how
many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
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?
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.
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.
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?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the
paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles
In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s,
3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?
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?
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?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
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 these hexagons drawn from different sized equilateral
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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?
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a
go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
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 this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four
squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other
totals can you make?
Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean
in the context of primary classrooms.
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
"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
When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a
straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?