A job needs three men but in fact six people do it. When it is
finished they are all paid the same. How much was paid in total,
and much does each man get if the money is shared as Fred suggests?
Think of a number and follow my instructions. Tell me your answer,
and I'll tell you what you started with! Can you explain how I
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect
squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten.
Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .
Think of a number... follow the machine's instructions. I know what
your number is! Can you explain how I know?
The well known Fibonacci sequence is 1 ,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21....
How many Fibonacci sequences can you find containing the number 196
as one of the terms?
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums?
1/2 + 2/1 =
2/3 + 3/2 =
3/4 + 4/3 =
If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is
the area of the shaded square?
Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?
First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like
to eat chocolate. Multiply this number by 2...
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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?
Triangle ABC is isosceles while triangle DEF is equilateral. Find
one angle in terms of the other two.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces
of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had
no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z
coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that
cannot be made? How do you know?
Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you
notice when you add opposite ends?
A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection.
Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had
put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Take a few whole numbers away from a triangle number. If you know
the mean of the remaining numbers can you find the triangle number
and which numbers were removed?
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with
a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a
layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
How to build your own magic squares.
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?
A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .
Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .
If you take two tests and get a marks out of a maximum b in the first and c marks out of d in the second, does the mediant (a+c)/(b+d)lie between the results for the two tests separately.
What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she
does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are
the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
A box has faces with areas 3, 12 and 25 square centimetres. What is
the volume of the box?
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering
the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way
that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Find b where 3723(base 10) = 123(base b).
Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two
people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and
diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?
32 x 38 = 30 x 40 + 2 x 8; 34 x 36 = 30 x 40 + 4 x 6; 56 x 54 = 50
x 60 + 6 x 4; 73 x 77 = 70 x 80 + 3 x 7 Verify and generalise if
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take
three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then
add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday
will be on next year, and the year after...
The number 27 is special because it is three times the sum of its digits 27 = 3 (2 + 7). Find some two digit numbers that are SEVEN times the sum of their digits (seven-up numbers)?
A moveable screen slides along a mirrored corridor towards a
centrally placed light source. A ray of light from that source is
directed towards a wall of the corridor, which it strikes at 45
degrees. . . .
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
Fifteen students had to travel 60 miles. They could use a car, which could only carry 5 students. As the car left with the first 5 (at 40 miles per hour), the remaining 10 commenced hiking along the. . . .
The diagram shows a 5 by 5 geoboard with 25 pins set out in a square array. Squares are made by stretching rubber bands round specific pins. What is the total number of squares that can be made on a. . . .