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Broad Topics > Calculations and Numerical Methods > Addition & subtraction

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2010: A Year of Investigations

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.

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Watch the Clock

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock point in the same direction (so one hand is over the top of the other). At what time, to the nearest second, does this happen?

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Lengthy Journeys

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find out how long they take.

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A Rod and a Pole

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Back to School

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Mr. Sunshine tells the children they will have 2 hours of homework. After several calculations, Harry says he hasn't got time to do this homework. Can you see where his reasoning is wrong?

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Pair Sums

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?

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Shapes in a Grid

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Sort Them Out (2)

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice? How could you sort the cards?

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Multiply the Addition Square

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?

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Football Sum

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME

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Cayley

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?

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Oh! Harry!

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?

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Add the Weights

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order to balance this equaliser?

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Score

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

There are exactly 3 ways to add 4 odd numbers to get 10. Find all the ways of adding 8 odd numbers to get 20. To be sure of getting all the solutions you will need to be systematic. What about. . . .

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Escape from the Castle

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Oranges and Lemons

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Fifteen Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?

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Times

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Which times on a digital clock have a line of symmetry? Which look the same upside-down? You might like to try this investigation and find out!

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Amazing Card Trick

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

How is it possible to predict the card?

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Prompt Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.

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How Much Did it Cost?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.

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Magic Triangle

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the triangle adds to the same total.

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And So on and So On

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you wrote all the possible four digit numbers made by using each of the digits 2, 4, 5, 7 once, what would they add up to?

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Street Sequences

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street in different ways.

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Penta Post

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Scoring with Dice

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

I throw three dice and get 5, 3 and 2. Add the scores on the three dice. What do you get? Now multiply the scores. What do you notice?

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Brothers and Sisters

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Reverse Trick

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Jugs of Wine

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

You have four jugs of 9, 7, 4 and 2 litres capacity. The 9 litre jug is full of wine, the others are empty. Can you divide the wine into three equal quantities?

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Odds and Threes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.

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Asteroid Blast

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.

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Zargon Glasses

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Polo Square

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

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A Numbered Route

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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 possible?

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Number Tracks

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Ben’s class were making cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?

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Numbered Cars

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Totality

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This is an adding game for two players.

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All Seated

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?

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Zios and Zepts

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Reach 100

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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.

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On Target

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?

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Buying a Balloon

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Super Shapes

Stage: 2 Short Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?

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Hubble, Bubble

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears, yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?

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Throw a 100

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more than way to do it?

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Machines

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What is happening at each box in these machines?

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Spell by Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?

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A Mixed-up Clock

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?

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Dodecamagic

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?

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Twenty Divided Into Six

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?