This article suggests some ways of making sense of calculations involving positive and negative numbers.
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
A combination mechanism for a safe comprises thirty-two tumblers
numbered from one to thirty-two in such a way that the numbers in
each wheel total 132... Could you open the safe?
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?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
The sum of the first 'n' natural numbers is a 3 digit number in which all the digits are the same. How many numbers have been summed?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to
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?
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?
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
What is the largest number you can make using the three digits 2, 3
and 4 in any way you like, using any operations you like? You can
only use each digit once.
Find the numbers in this sum
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
The picture shows a lighthouse and many underwater creatures. If
you know the markings on the lighthouse are 1m apart, can you work
out the distances between some of the different creatures?
In this game the winner is the first to complete a row of three. Are some squares easier to land on than others?
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?
Whenever two chameleons of different colours meet they change
colour to the third colour. Describe the shortest sequence of
meetings in which all the chameleons change to green if you start
with 12. . . .
This challenge is to make up YOUR OWN alphanumeric. Each letter
represents a digit and where the same letter appears more than once
it must represent the same digit each time.
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. . . .
When I type a sequence of letters my calculator gives the product
of all the numbers in the corresponding memories. What numbers
should I store so that when I type 'ONE' it returns 1, and when I
type. . . .
How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?
The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
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?
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?
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your
skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit
the target score.
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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?
Using some or all of the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and using the digits 3, 3, 8 and 8 each once and only once make an expression equal to 24.
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Investigate $1^n + 19^n + 20^n + 51^n + 57^n + 80^n + 82^n $ and $2^n + 12^n + 31^n + 40^n + 69^n + 71^n + 85^n$ for different values of n.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Have a go at this game which involves throwing two dice and adding
their totals. Where should you place your counters to be more
likely to win?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order
to balance this equaliser?
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
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
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.
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?