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

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?

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?

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

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 addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once. Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only possibility.

This article explains how to make your own magic square to mark a special occasion with the special date of your choice on the top line.

Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!

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

Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.

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?

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

If each of these three shapes has a value, can you find the totals of the combinations? Perhaps you can use the shapes to make the given totals?

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?

Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number. Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?

What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to one million?

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. . . .

Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?

Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).

Ann thought of 5 numbers and told Bob all the sums that could be made by adding the numbers in pairs. The list of sums is 6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10,10, 11, 12. Help Bob to find out which numbers Ann was. . . .

Fill in the numbers to make the sum of each row, column and diagonal equal to 34. For an extra challenge try the huge American Flag magic square.

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.

In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with digits so that the arithmetic is correct.

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?

Susie took cherries out of a bowl by following a certain pattern. How many cherries had there been in the bowl to start with if she was left with 14 single ones?

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

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.

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 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?

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

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?

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

Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many sheep there are in each field.

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

Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?

Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of three children. Use the information to find out what the three numbers were.

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?

Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.

Find out what a Deca Tree is and then work out how many leaves there will be after the woodcutter has cut off a trunk, a branch, a twig and a leaf.

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?

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

Three dice are placed in a row. Find a way to turn each one so that the three numbers on top of the dice total the same as the three numbers on the front of the dice. Can you find all the ways to. . . .

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?

Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?

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?

This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?