In this article for teachers, Elizabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington explore the differences between 'recording mathematics' and 'representing mathematical thinking'.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
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?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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.
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
Can you hang weights in the right place to make the equaliser
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 ...
Noah saw 12 legs walk by into the Ark. How many creatures did he see?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
Cassandra, David and Lachlan are brothers and sisters. They range
in age between 1 year and 14 years. Can you figure out their exact
ages from the clues?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
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?
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?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that
every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.
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?
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most efficient.
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 buckets each of which holds a maximum of 5 litres.
Use the clues to work out how much liquid there is in each bucket.
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
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
On Planet Plex, there are only 6 hours in the day. Can you answer
these questions about how Arog the Alien spends his day?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which
things could she give exactly the right amount for?
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 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?
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?
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.
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
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?
This is an adding game for two players.
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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?
Twizzle, a female giraffe, needs transporting to another zoo. Which
route will give the fastest journey?
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?
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?