Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice?
How could you sort the cards?
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes. If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?
Choose a symbol to put into the number sentence.
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a
maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a
total of 15!
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?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square
tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using
all 15 tables, with no empty places.
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?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?
Can you complete this jigsaw of the multiplication square?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of
plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in
each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
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,. . . .
Find the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a
product consisting entirely of ones.
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?
A 3 digit number is multiplied by a 2 digit number and the
calculation is written out as shown with a digit in place of each
of the *'s. Complete the whole multiplication sum.
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and
lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children
buy with their money?
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the
labels. Can you help relabel them?
Four Go game for an adult and child. Will you be the first to have four numbers in a row on the number line?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
This big box multiplies anything that goes inside it by the same number. If you know the numbers that come out, what multiplication might be going on in the box?
We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they
usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many
altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?
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.
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
Can you work out what a ziffle is on the planet Zargon?
Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
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?
All the girls would like a puzzle each for Christmas and all the
boys would like a book each. Solve the riddle to find out how many
puzzles and books Santa left.
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
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 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
Using the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 once and only once, and the
operations x and ÷ once and only once, what is the smallest
whole number you can make?
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?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.