A mathematician goes into a supermarket and buys four items. Using a calculator she multiplies the cost instead of adding them. How can her answer be the same as the total at the till?
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.
Katie and Will have some balloons. Will's balloon burst at exactly the same size as Katie's at the beginning of a puff. How many puffs had Will done before his balloon burst?
Twice a week I go swimming and swim the same number of lengths of the pool each time. As I swim, I count the lengths I've done so far, and make it into a fraction of the whole number of lengths I. . . .
There are a number of coins on a table. One quarter of the coins show heads. If I turn over 2 coins, then one third show heads. How many coins are there altogether?
Is it possible to draw a 5-pointed star without taking your pencil off the paper? Is it possible to draw a 6-pointed star in the same way without taking your pen off?
I throw three dice and get 5, 3 and 2. Add the scores on the three dice. What do you get? Now multiply the scores. What do you notice?
Four of these clues are needed to find the chosen number on this grid and four are true but do nothing to help in finding the number. Can you sort out the clues and find the number?
The discs for this game are kept in a flat square box with a square hole for each disc. Use the information to find out how many discs of each colour there are in the box.
Is there an efficient way to work out how many factors a large number has?
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?
Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?
Make a set of numbers that use all the digits from 1 to 9, once and once only. Add them up. The result is divisible by 9. Add each of the digits in the new number. What is their sum? Now try some. . . .
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.
Can you find any perfect numbers? Read this article to find out more...
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Becky created a number plumber which multiplies by 5 and subtracts 4. What do you notice about the numbers that it produces? Can you explain your findings?
Look at three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
Can you find a way to identify times tables after they have been shifted up?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
This article for teachers describes how number arrays can be a useful reprentation for many number concepts.
On the planet Vuv there are two sorts of creatures. The Zios have 3 legs and the Zepts have 7 legs. The great planetary explorer Nico counted 52 legs. How many Zios and how many Zepts were there?
Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can make? And the greatest?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
These red, yellow and blue spinners were each spun 45 times in total. Can you work out which numbers are on each spinner?
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order to balance this equaliser?
Using your knowledge of the properties of numbers, can you fill all the squares on the board?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
Use the interactivities to complete these Venn diagrams.
Complete the magic square using the numbers 1 to 25 once each. Each row, column and diagonal adds up to 65.
In this activity, the computer chooses a times table and shifts it. Can you work out the table and the shift each time?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?
A game that tests your understanding of remainders.
Use the interactivity to create some steady rhythms. How could you create a rhythm which sounds the same forwards as it does backwards?
Does a graph of the triangular numbers cross a graph of the six times table? If so, where? Will a graph of the square numbers cross the times table too?
A game for 2 or more people. Starting with 100, subratct a number from 1 to 9 from the total. You score for making an odd number, a number ending in 0 or a multiple of 6.
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
When the number x 1 x x x is multiplied by 417 this gives the answer 9 x x x 0 5 7. Find the missing digits, each of which is represented by an "x" .
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th mark?
How can you use just one weighing to find out which box contains the lighter ten coins out of the ten boxes?
Find the highest power of 11 that will divide into 1000! exactly.