Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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?
How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?
If each of these three shapes has a value, can you find the totals
of the combinations? Perhaps you can use the shapes to make the
This big box adds something to any number that goes into it. If you know the numbers that come out, what addition might be going on in the box?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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?
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten
numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
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?
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.
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that
every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.
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.
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?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
A game for 2 or more players. Practise your addition and subtraction with the aid of a game board and some dried peas!
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
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?
Fill in the numbers to make the sum of each row, column and
diagonal equal to 15.
Fill in the numbers to make the sum of each row, column and
diagonal equal to 34. For an extra challenge try the huge American
Flag magic square.
On a calculator, make 15 by using only the 2 key and any of the
four operations keys. How many ways can you find to do it?
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
There are three buckets each of which holds a maximum of 5 litres.
Use the clues to work out how much liquid there is in each bucket.
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.
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?
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?
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now
multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
As you come down the ladders of the Tall Tower you collect useful
spells. Which way should you go to collect the most spells?
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?
Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which
things could she give exactly the right amount for?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
Sam got into an elevator. He went down five floors, up six floors, down seven floors, then got out on the second floor. On what floor did he get on?
There were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
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.
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
What is happening at each box in these machines?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
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?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems.
Can you discover its value in each problem?
Tell your friends that you have a strange calculator that turns
numbers backwards. What secret number do you have to enter to make
141 414 turn around?