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.

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. . . .

For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?

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 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.

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

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?

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.

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. . . .

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. . . .

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

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?

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

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?

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?

Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.

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. . . .

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

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.

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. . . .

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.

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. . . .

Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?

Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?

Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?

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

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?

It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...

The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.

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?

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?