Ben’s class were making cutting up number tracks. First they
cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What
patterns could they see?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how
many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now
multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How
about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you
can predict what will happen.
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which
seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the
foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they
usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many
altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that
cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can
make? And the greatest?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the
strategy for winning this game with any target?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the
numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the
rule for giving another set of six numbers?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
How many different journeys could you make if you were going to
visit four stations in this network? How about if there were five
stations? Can you predict the number of journeys for seven
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What
number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to
dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. 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 =
Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of
adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain
why and prove it?
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 positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of
11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step
up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an
up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the
next two rows?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
A package contains a set of resources designed to develop
pupils’ mathematical thinking. This package places a
particular emphasis on “generalising” and is designed
to meet the. . . .
Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both
has increased. How can this be so?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?