In this article for teachers, Elizabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington explore the differences between 'recording mathematics' and 'representing mathematical thinking'.
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 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates yourself.
A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit the target score.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order to balance this equaliser?
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?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same total. What was the total and how could this be done?
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷) to make these digits come to 100.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock face. Can you work out who received each piece?
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most efficient.
Mr. Sunshine tells the children they will have 2 hours of homework. After several calculations, Harry says he hasn't got time to do this homework. Can you see where his reasoning is wrong?
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a total of 15!
On the table there is a pile of oranges and lemons that weighs exactly one kilogram. Using the information, can you work out how many lemons there are?
Rocco ran in a 200 m race for his class. Use the information to find out how many runners there were in the race and what Rocco's finishing position was.
In this game, you can add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers on the dice. Which will you do so that you get to the end of the number line first?
Amy has a box containing domino pieces but she does not think it is a complete set. She has 24 dominoes in her box and there are 125 spots on them altogether. Which of her domino pieces are missing?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99 How many ways can you do it?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square of another, larger, number.
Annie cut this numbered cake into 3 pieces with 3 cuts so that the numbers on each piece added to the same total. Where were the cuts and what fraction of the whole cake was each piece?
How would you count the number of fingers in these pictures?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more than way to do it?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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?
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go. Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
There are three baskets, a brown one, a red one and a pink one, holding a total of 10 eggs. Can you use the information given to find out how many eggs are in each basket?
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?
The Scot, John Napier, invented these strips about 400 years ago to help calculate multiplication and division. Can you work out how to use Napier's bones to find the answer to these multiplications?
Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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.
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?