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?
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?
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?
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
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
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.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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. . . .
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
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?
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.
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?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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
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?
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?
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?
If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order
to balance this equaliser?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
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.
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?
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
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.
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
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?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
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?
What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to
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.
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?
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?
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?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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?