How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?
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?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
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?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
In this game, you can add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers
on the dice. Which will you do so that you get to the end of the
number line first?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three
puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?
Three dice are placed in a row. Find a way to turn each one so that the three numbers on top of the dice total the same as the three numbers on the front of the dice. Can you find all the ways to do. . . .
How would you count the number of fingers in these pictures?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
If you have ten counters numbered 1 to 10, how many can you put into pairs that add to 10? Which ones do you have to leave out? Why?
Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
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.
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 score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
Can you work out how many flowers there will be on the Amazing Splitting Plant after it has been growing for six weeks?
There were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
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?
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?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to
ask? Don't forget to keep visiting NRICH projects site for the
latest developments and questions.
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.
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2
litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to
another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the
A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your
skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit
the target score.
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
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.
Noah saw 12 legs walk by into the Ark. How many creatures did he see?
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
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?
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged
the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same
total. What was the total and how could this be done?
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?
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?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation
strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most