Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
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.
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
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?
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?
How would you count the number of fingers in these pictures?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the
strategy for winning this game with any target?
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?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
Dotty Six is a simple dice game that you can adapt in many ways.
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.
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?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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?
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?
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.
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
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 substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
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?
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.
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
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
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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.
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.
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Can you work out how many flowers there will be on the Amazing Splitting Plant after it has been growing for six weeks?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can
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?
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?
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
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?
There were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
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?
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
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?