Think of a number... follow the machine's instructions. I know what
your number is! Can you explain how I know?
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?
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. . . .
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
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)?
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
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. . . .
A box has faces with areas 3, 12 and 25 square centimetres. What is
the volume of the box?
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?
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 know?
Triangle ABC is isosceles while triangle DEF is equilateral. Find
one angle in terms of the other two.
If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is
the area of the shaded square?
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?
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. . . .
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
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?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?
A car's milometer reads 4631 miles and the trip meter has 173.3 on
it. How many more miles must the car travel before the two numbers
contain the same digits in the same order?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
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 four digit number. Move the first digit to the 'back of
the queue' and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. What
properties do your answers always have?
Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter
(p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship
between p, i and the area of the polygons.
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a
pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow
paint on their faces?
A 2-Digit number is squared. When this 2-digit number is reversed
and squared, the difference between the squares is also a square.
What is the 2-digit number?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
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?
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?
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums?
1/2 + 2/1 =
2/3 + 3/2 =
3/4 + 4/3 =
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
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?
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a
factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and
16 is a factor of 48.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?
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. . . .
Find b where 3723(base 10) = 123(base b).
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?”
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
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?
A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .
A mother wants to share a sum of money by giving each of her
children in turn a lump sum plus a fraction of the remainder. How
can she do this in order to share the money out equally?
A circle is inscribed in a triangle which has side lengths of 8, 15
and 17 cm. What is the radius of the circle?
A hallway floor is tiled and each tile is one foot square. Given
that the number of tiles around the perimeter is EXACTLY half the
total number of tiles, find the possible dimensions of the hallway.
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...