This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
A lady has a steel rod and a wooden pole and she knows the length
of each. How can she measure out an 8 unit piece of pole?
During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock point in
the same direction (so one hand is over the top of the other). At
what time, to the nearest second, does this happen?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st,
2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice
about the answers?
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?
On Planet Plex, there are only 6 hours in the day. Can you answer
these questions about how Arog the Alien spends his day?
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?
Which times on a digital clock have a line of symmetry? Which look
the same upside-down? You might like to try this investigation and
What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the
result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different
numbers and different rules.
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order
to balance this equaliser?
Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the
total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can
you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?
Use the number weights to find different ways of balancing the equaliser.
Twizzle, a female giraffe, needs transporting to another zoo. Which
route will give the fastest journey?
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.
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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 is an adding game for two players.
Ben’s class were making cutting up number tracks. First they
cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What
patterns could they see?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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?
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?
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
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?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
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?
As you come down the ladders of the Tall Tower you collect useful
spells. Which way should you go to collect the most spells?
Choose four of the numbers from 1 to 9 to put in the squares so that the differences between joined squares are odd.
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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?
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?
Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not
using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in
whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?
Arrange the numbers 1 to 6 in each set of circles below. The sum of each side of the triangle should equal the number in its centre.
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can
Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which
things could she give exactly the right amount for?
Woof is a big dog. Yap is a little dog.
Emma has 16 dog biscuits to give to the two dogs.
She gave Woof 4 more biscuits than Yap.
How many biscuits did each dog get?
There were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
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?