During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock point in
the same direction (so one hand is over the top of the other). At
what time, to the nearest second, does this happen?
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
A lady has a steel rod and a wooden pole and she knows the length
of each. How can she measure out an 8 unit piece of pole?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
Which times on a digital clock have a line of symmetry? Which look
the same upside-down? You might like to try this investigation and
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
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?
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order
to balance this equaliser?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
Mr. Sunshine tells the children they will have 2 hours of homework.
After several calculations, Harry says he hasn't got time to do
this homework. Can you see where his reasoning is wrong?
On the table there is a pile of oranges and lemons that weighs
exactly one kilogram. Using the information, can you work out how
many lemons there are?
I was looking at the number plate of a car parked outside. Using my special code S208VBJ adds to 65. Can you crack my code and use it to find out what both of these number plates add up to?
This is an adding game for two players.
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?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
How is it possible to predict the card?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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.
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?
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it.
How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in
each pile was 15?
In sheep talk the only letters used are B and A. A sequence of
words is formed by following certain rules. What do you notice when
you count the letters in each word?
These sixteen children are standing in four lines of four, one
behind the other. They are each holding a card with a number on it.
Can you work out the missing numbers?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
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. 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.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
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?
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?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems.
Can you discover its value in each problem?
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?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which
things could she give exactly the right amount for?
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 do. . . .
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
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?
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?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷)
to make these digits come to 100.
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
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?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and
lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children
buy with their money?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three