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.
The number 3723(in base 10) is written as 123 in another base. What is that base?
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?
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.
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. . . .
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?
Four strategy dice games to consolidate pupils' understanding of rounding.
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!
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 one million?
Watch our videos of multiplication methods that you may not have met before. Can you make sense of them?
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
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. . . .
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 resulting numbers.
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?
When asked how old she was, the teacher replied: My age in years is not prime but odd and when reversed and added to my age you have a perfect square...
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 coincidence?
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?
Amazing as it may seem the three fives remaining in the following `skeleton' are sufficient to reconstruct the entire long division sum.
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.
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.
Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? Why?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
Number problems for inquiring primary learners.
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?
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
Explore the relationship between simple linear functions and their graphs.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
There are six numbers written in five different scripts. Can you sort out which is which?
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?
When the number x 1 x x x is multiplied by 417 this gives the answer 9 x x x 0 5 7. Find the missing digits, each of which is represented by an "x" .
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 possible.
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 possibility.
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. . . .
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?
Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.
How many six digit numbers are there which DO NOT contain a 5?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Can you show that 1^99 + 2^99 + 3^99 + 4^99 + 5^99 is divisible by 5?
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?
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.
This is a game in which your counters move in a spiral round the snail's shell. It is about understanding tens and units.
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
How many positive integers less than or equal to 4000 can be written down without using the digits 7, 8 or 9?