Find the numbers in this sum
This article suggests some ways of making sense of calculations involving positive and negative numbers.
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?
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?
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?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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.
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?
What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
There are over sixty different ways of making 24 by adding,
subtracting, multiplying and dividing all four numbers 4, 6, 6 and
8 (using each number only once). How many can you find?
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. . . .
In this game the winner is the first to complete a row of three. Are some squares easier to land on than others?
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?
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.
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.
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
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?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
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?
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
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now
multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what
There are three buckets each of which holds a maximum of 5 litres.
Use the clues to work out how much liquid there is in each bucket.
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?
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?
Rocco ran in a 200 m race for his class. Use the information to
find out how many runners there were in the race and what Rocco's
finishing position was.
Amy has a box containing domino pieces but she does not think it is a complete set. She has 24 dominoes in her box and there are 125 spots on them altogether. Which of her domino pieces are missing?
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation
strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find out how long they take.
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
On a calculator, make 15 by using only the 2 key and any of the
four operations keys. How many ways can you find to do it?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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.
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
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?
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?
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
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems.
Can you discover its value in each problem?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three