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?
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
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
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?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
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.
In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st,
2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice
about the answers?
Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the
total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can
you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
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?
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?
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock
face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions
differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order
to balance this equaliser?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
Can you be the first to complete a row of three?
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?
How is it possible to predict the card?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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.
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
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
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
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?
This is an adding game for two players.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
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 substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which
things could she give exactly the right amount for?
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
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?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems.
Can you discover its value in each problem?
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?
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.
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
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?