In this article for teachers, Elizabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington explore the differences between 'recording mathematics' and 'representing mathematical thinking'.
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
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.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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
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?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
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?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
Can you make a train the same length as Laura's but using three differently coloured rods? Is there only one way of doing it?
These caterpillars have 16 parts. What different shapes do they make if each part lies in the small squares of a 4 by 4 square?
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.
On Planet Plex, there are only 6 hours in the day. Can you answer
these questions about how Arog the Alien spends his day?
Fill in the numbers to make the sum of each row, column and
diagonal equal to 15.
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?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
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
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Can you hang weights in the right place to make the equaliser
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?
Noah saw 12 legs walk by into the Ark. How many creatures did he see?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
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?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
There were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
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?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
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?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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.
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?
Twizzle, a female giraffe, needs transporting to another zoo. Which
route will give the fastest journey?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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?
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?
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
How have the numbers been placed in this Carroll diagram? Which labels would you put on each row and column?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?