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?
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
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?
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?
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Leah and Tom each have a number line. Can you work out where their counters will land? What are the secret jumps they make with their counters?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
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?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four
squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other
totals can you make?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
In this article for teachers, Elizabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington explore the differences between 'recording mathematics' and 'representing mathematical thinking'.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
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?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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.
Use five steps to count forwards or backwards in 1s or 10s to get to 50. What strategies did you use?
At the beginning of May Tom put his tomato plant outside. On the
same day he sowed a bean in another pot. When will the two be the
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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?
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.
As you come down the ladders of the Tall Tower you collect useful spells. Which way should you go to collect the most spells?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
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?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the
labels. Can you help relabel them?
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?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which
are different heights.
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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 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?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?