The number 3723(in base 10) is written as 123 in another base. What
is that base?
Exploring the structure of a number square: how quickly can you put the number tiles in the right place on the grid?
Nowadays the calculator is very familiar to many of us. What did
people do to save time working out more difficult problems before
the calculator existed?
This article for the young and old talks about the origins of our number system and the important role zero has to play in it.
There are two forms of counting on Vuvv - Zios count in base 3 and
Zepts count in base 7. One day four of these creatures, two Zios
and two Zepts, sat on the summit of a hill to count the legs of. . . .
Can you create a Latin Square from multiples of a six digit number?
Investigate the different ways these aliens count in this
challenge. You could start by thinking about how each of them would
write our number 7.
There are six numbers written in five different scripts. Can you sort out which is which?
This article, written for teachers, looks at the different kinds of
recordings encountered in Primary Mathematics lessons and the
importance of not jumping to conclusions!
Watch our videos of multiplication methods that you may not have met before. Can you make sense of them?
This is a game in which your counters move in a spiral round the snail's shell. It is about understanding tens and units.
A school song book contains 700 songs. The numbers of the songs are displayed by combining special small single-digit boards. What is the minimum number of small boards that is needed?
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
Using balancing scales what is the least number of weights needed
to weigh all integer masses from 1 to 1000? Placing some of the
weights in the same pan as the object how many are needed?
Take the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and imagine them written down in
every possible order to give 5 digit numbers. Find the sum of the
Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? Why?
Four strategy dice games to consolidate pupils' understanding of rounding.
You have two sets of the digits 0 – 9. Can you arrange these in the five boxes to make four-digit numbers as close to the target numbers as possible?
Each child in Class 3 took four numbers out of the bag. Who had
made the highest even number?
Number problems for inquiring primary learners.
How many positive integers less than or equal to 4000 can be
written down without using the digits 7, 8 or 9?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
In this 100 square, look at the green square which contains the numbers 2, 3, 12 and 13. What is the sum of the numbers that are diagonally opposite each other? What do you notice?
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one
solution in each case?
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?
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
Dicey Operations for an adult and child. Can you get close to 1000 than your partner?
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
Three people chose this as a favourite problem. It is the sort of
problem that needs thinking time - but once the connection is made
it gives access to many similar ideas.
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Becky created a number plumber which multiplies by 5 and subtracts
4. What do you notice about the numbers that it produces? Can you
explain your findings?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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?
Think of any three-digit number. Repeat the digits. The 6-digit
number that you end up with is divisible by 91. Is this a
Follow the clues to find the mystery number.
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
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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?
This addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once.
Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only