How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?

This article suggests some ways of making sense of calculations involving positive and negative numbers.

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.

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

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

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

Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.

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?

There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...

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?

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?

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?

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.

Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.

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?

Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?

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.

How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.

In this game the winner is the first to complete a row of three. Are some squares easier to land on than others?

Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?

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?

Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?

How have the numbers been placed in this Carroll diagram? Which labels would you put on each row and column?

Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?

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?

Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.

This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?

The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock face. Can you work out who received each piece?

Can you make a cycle of pairs that add to make a square number using all the numbers in the box below, once and once only?

A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths operations knowledge.

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.

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?

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.

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.

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

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.

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

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?

Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.

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?

Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?

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?