This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
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?
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 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?
In this 100 square, look at the green square which contains the numbers 2, 3, 12 and 13. What is the sum of the numbers that are diagonally opposite each other? What do you notice?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
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
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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?
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.
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
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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?
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?
Find the numbers in this sum
In this game the winner is the first to complete a row of three. Are some squares easier to land on than others?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four
squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other
totals can you make?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Complete these two jigsaws then put one on top of the other. What
happens when you add the 'touching' numbers? What happens when you
change the position of the jigsaws?
What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the
result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different
numbers and different rules.
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
This article suggests some ways of making sense of calculations involving positive and negative numbers.
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 have only four weights, where could you place them in order
to balance this equaliser?
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. . . .
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.
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?
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?
How have the numbers been placed in this Carroll diagram? Which
labels would you put on each row and column?
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?
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?
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?
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?
What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to
Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the
total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can
you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?
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?
In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st,
2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice
about the answers?
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Can you follow the rule to decode the messages?
How is it possible to predict the card?
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