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?
Norrie sees two lights flash at the same time, then one of them
flashes every 4th second, and the other flashes every 5th second.
How many times do they flash together during a whole minute?
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?
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?
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?
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?
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?
56 406 is the product of two consecutive numbers. What are these
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?
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?
Can you work out what a ziffle is on the planet Zargon?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will
only answer 'yes' or 'no'.
Can you complete this jigsaw of the multiplication square?
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when
divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?
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?
This big box multiplies anything that goes inside it by the same number. If you know the numbers that come out, what multiplication might be going on in the box?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? Why?
This article for teachers describes how number arrays can be a
useful reprentation for many number concepts.
Look at three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?
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. . . .
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.
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.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
These red, yellow and blue spinners were each spun 45 times in
total. Can you work out which numbers are on each spinner?
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.
Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Starting with the number 180, take away 9 again and again, joining up the dots as you go. Watch out - don't join all the dots!
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
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?
What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
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?
How can you use just one weighing to find out which box contains
the lighter ten coins out of the ten boxes?
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.
Andrew decorated 20 biscuits to take to a party. He lined them up and put icing on every second biscuit and different decorations on other biscuits. How many biscuits weren't decorated?
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.
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order
to balance this equaliser?
I am thinking of three sets of numbers less than 101. Can you find
all the numbers in each set from these clues?