This article suggests some ways of making sense of calculations involving positive and negative numbers.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
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. . . .
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
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. . . .
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
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.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
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 values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
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?
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.
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the
strategy for winning this game with any target?
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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?
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
Can you be the first to complete a row of three?
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
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 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 challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
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?
Here is a chance to play a fractions version of the classic
How is it possible to predict the card?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you
notice when you add opposite ends?
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
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?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
Special clue numbers related to the difference between numbers in
two adjacent cells and values of the stars in the "constellation"
make this a doubly interesting problem.
In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six
distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with
digits so that the arithmetic is correct.
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. . . .
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Using the 8 dominoes make a square where each of the columns and
rows adds up to 8
Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number.
Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this
process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?
How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?
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 country Sixtania prints postage stamps with only three values 6 lucres, 10 lucres and 15 lucres (where the currency is in lucres).Which values cannot be made up with combinations of these postage. . . .
In this game the winner is the first to complete a row of three.
Are some squares easier to land on than others?
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 a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy
pyramid whose top number is 200.
Find the numbers in this sum