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?
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?
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. . . .
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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?
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.
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.
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?
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?
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?
Nine squares with side lengths 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, and 18 cm can be fitted together to form a rectangle. What are the dimensions of the rectangle?
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?
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?
Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will
only answer 'yes' or 'no'.
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?
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
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.
Find the words hidden inside each of the circles by counting around
a certain number of spaces to find each letter in turn.
Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? 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. . . .
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?
How can you use just one weighing to find out which box contains
the lighter ten coins out of the ten boxes?
When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a
straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?
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?
I am thinking of three sets of numbers less than 101. Can you find
all the numbers in each set from these clues?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
"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 ...?
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?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Look at three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?
I am thinking of three sets of numbers less than 101. They are the
red set, the green set and the blue set. Can you find all the
numbers in the sets from these clues?
Nearly all of us have made table patterns on hundred squares, that
is 10 by 10 grids. This problem looks at the patterns on
differently sized square grids.
This article for teachers describes how number arrays can be a
useful reprentation for many number concepts.
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?
Can you find any perfect numbers? Read this article to find out more...
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?
Can you find a way to identify times tables after they have been shifted up?
These red, yellow and blue spinners were each spun 45 times in
total. Can you work out which numbers are on each spinner?
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?
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when
divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?
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?
Can you work out what a ziffle is on the planet Zargon?
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?
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.
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.
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?