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.
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. . . .
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.
What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one 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?
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 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.
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. . . .
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. . . .
Find the numbers in this sum
This article suggests some ways of making sense of calculations involving positive and 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?
In this game the winner is the first to complete a row of three. Are some squares easier to land on than others?
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?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
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
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
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?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
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.
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
Look on the back of any modern book and you will find an ISBN code. Take this code and calculate this sum in the way shown. Can you see what the answers always have in common?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
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. . . .
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.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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?
Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
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?
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?
Ben’s class were making cutting up number tracks. First they
cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What
patterns could they see?
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?
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?
How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems.
Can you discover its value in each problem?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
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?
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
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?