Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
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?
What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
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
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
Can you explain how this card trick works?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written
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.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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. . . .
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. . . .
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with
a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a
layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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 centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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.
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Benâ€™s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe
the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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.
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.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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?
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.