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?
Find the numbers in this sum
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 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?
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?
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?
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. . . .
The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
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. . . .
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. . . .
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
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.
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.
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.
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?
What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
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
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.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Can you be the first to complete a row of three?
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?
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?
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.
This article explains how to make your own magic square to mark a special occasion with the special date of your choice on the top line.
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
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?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
Can you explain how this card trick works?
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
In this game the winner is the first to complete a row of three. Are some squares easier to land on than others?
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
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. . . .
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Here is a chance to play a fractions version of the classic
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
Choose any three by three square of dates on a calendar page.
Circle any number on the top row, put a line through the other
numbers that are in the same row and column as your circled number.
Repeat. . . .