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.
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
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?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the
strategy for winning this game with any target?
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 many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of
11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
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?
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.
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?
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.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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. . . .
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
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.
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. . . .
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
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
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases
overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of
his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
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?
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?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
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?
Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players
take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single
pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.
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.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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 tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
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?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
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. . . .