In this article for teachers, Elizabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington explore the differences between 'recording mathematics' and 'representing mathematical thinking'.
On my calculator I divided one whole number by another whole number and got the answer 3.125 If the numbers are both under 50, what are they?
On a calculator, make 15 by using only the 2 key and any of the
four operations keys. How many ways can you find to do it?
Annie and Ben are playing a game with a calculator. What was
Annie's secret number?
On Friday the magic plant was only 2 centimetres tall. Every day it
doubled its height. How tall was it on Monday?
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?
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to
ask? Don't forget to keep visiting NRICH projects site for the
latest developments and questions.
Find another number that is one short of a square number and when
you double it and add 1, the result is also a square number.
In this investigation, you are challenged to make mobile phone
numbers which are easy to remember. What happens if you make a
sequence adding 2 each time?
Take the number 6 469 693 230 and divide it by the first ten prime
numbers and you'll find the most beautiful, most magic of all
numbers. What is it?
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
This challenge is a game for two players. Choose two numbers from the grid and multiply or divide, then mark your answer on the number line. Can you get four in a row before your partner?
Look on the back of any modern book and you will find an ISBN code. Take this code and calculate this sum in the way shown. Can you see what the answers always have in common?
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
Twizzle, a female giraffe, needs transporting to another zoo. Which
route will give the fastest journey?
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties
involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows
children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
At the beginning of May Tom put his tomato plant outside. On the
same day he sowed a bean in another pot. When will the two be the
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go.
Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
The Man is much smaller than us. Can you use the picture of him
next to a mug to estimate his height and how much tea he drinks?
This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?
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?
Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?
Can you complete this jigsaw of the multiplication square?
This article for teachers looks at how teachers can use problems from the NRICH site to help them teach division.
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain
which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so
that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used
once and once only.
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when
divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?
A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your
skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit
the target score.
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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?
Here is a picnic that Petros and Michael are going to share equally. Can you tell us what each of them will have?
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 November, Liz was interviewed for an article on a parents' website about learning times tables. Read the article here.
Resources to support understanding of multiplication and division through playing with number.
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
This problem is designed to help children to learn, and to use, the two and three times tables.
After training hard, these two children have improved their
results. Can you work out the length or height of their first
Look at what happens when you take a number, square it and subtract your answer. What kind of number do you get? Can you prove it?
Can you work out what a ziffle is on the planet Zargon?
How will you decide which way of flipping over and/or turning the grid will give you the highest total?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
This activity focuses on doubling multiples of five.