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. . . .
The number 3723(in base 10) is written as 123 in another base. What
is that base?
Watch our videos of multiplication methods that you may not have met before. Can you make sense of them?
Exploring the structure of a number square: how quickly can you put the number tiles in the right place on the grid?
There are six numbers written in five different scripts. Can you sort out which is which?
Number problems for inquiring primary learners.
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.
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?
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, written for teachers, looks at the different kinds of
recordings encountered in Primary Mathematics lessons and the
importance of not jumping to conclusions!
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?
Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? Why?
This is a game in which your counters move in a spiral round the snail's shell. It is about understanding tens and units.
How many positive integers less than or equal to 4000 can be
written down without using the digits 7, 8 or 9?
Take any two digit number, for example 58. What do you have to do to reverse the order of the digits? Can you find a rule for reversing the order of digits for any two digit number?
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.
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
How many six digit numbers are there which DO NOT contain a 5?
Four strategy dice games to consolidate pupils' understanding of rounding.
Choose two digits and arrange them to make two double-digit
numbers. Now add your double-digit numbers. Now add your single
digit numbers. Divide your double-digit answer by your single-digit
answer. . . .
Four of these clues are needed to find the chosen number on this
grid and four are true but do nothing to help in finding the
number. Can you sort out the clues and find the number?
What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
Find out what a Deca Tree is and then work out how many leaves
there will be after the woodcutter has cut off a trunk, a branch, a
twig and a leaf.
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one
solution in each case?
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 that may require determination.
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
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?
We are used to writing numbers in base ten, using 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Eg. 75 means 7 tens and five units. This article explains how numbers can be written in any number base.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
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?
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?
Follow the clues to find the mystery number.
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?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Amazing as it may seem the three fives remaining in the following
`skeleton' are sufficient to reconstruct the entire long division
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
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?
Can you show that 1^99 + 2^99 + 3^99 + 4^99 + 5^99 is divisible by
A church hymn book contains 700 hymns. The numbers of the hymns 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.
Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down
all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur
most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .