In this article for teachers, Elizabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington explore the differences between 'recording mathematics' and 'representing mathematical thinking'.
In this 100 square, look at the green square which contains the numbers 2, 3, 12 and 13. What is the sum of the numbers that are diagonally opposite each other? What do you notice?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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 sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
Find out what a Deca Tree is and then work out how many leaves
there will be after the woodcutter has cut off a trunk, a branch, a
twig and a leaf.
Start by putting one million (1 000 000) into the display of your
calculator. Can you reduce this to 7 using just the 7 key and add,
subtract, multiply, divide and equals as many times as you like?
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?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
Can you draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so
that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
There are over sixty different ways of making 24 by adding,
subtracting, multiplying and dividing all four numbers 4, 6, 6 and
8 (using each number only once). How many can you find?
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
As you come down the ladders of the Tall Tower you collect useful spells. Which way should you go to collect the most spells?
Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the
next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?
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.
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
Choose four of the numbers from 1 to 9 to put in the squares so that the differences between joined squares are odd.
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?
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?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
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.
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Twizzle, a female giraffe, needs transporting to another zoo. Which
route will give the fastest journey?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
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?
This dice train has been made using specific rules. How many different trains can you make?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
Dotty Six game for an adult and child. Will you be the first to have three sixes in a straight line?
In sheep talk the only letters used are B and A. A sequence of
words is formed by following certain rules. What do you notice when
you count the letters in each word?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
These sixteen children are standing in four lines of four, one
behind the other. They are each holding a card with a number on it.
Can you work out the missing numbers?
This is an adding game for two players.
I was looking at the number plate of a car parked outside. Using my special code S208VBJ adds to 65. Can you crack my code and use it to find out what both of these number plates add up to?
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
In your bank, you have three types of coins. The number of spots shows how much they are worth. Can you choose coins to exchange with the groups given to make the same total?
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and
lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children
buy with their money?
Can you arrange fifteen dominoes so that all the touching domino
pieces add to 6 and the ends join up? Can you make all the joins
add to 7?
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
What is happening at each box in these machines?