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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Finding Fifteen

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

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?

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Weights

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

Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?

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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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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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Napier's Bones

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

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?

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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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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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The Puzzling Sweet Shop

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

There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?

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Bean Bags for Bernard's Bag

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

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?

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Make 100

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

Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷) to make these digits come to 100.

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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?

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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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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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It's All about 64

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.

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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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Arrange the Digits

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

Can you arrange the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 into three 3-digit numbers such that their total is close to 1500?

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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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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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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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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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Christmas Shopping

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which things could she give exactly the right amount for?

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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?