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 the edges?

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

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

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

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.

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

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?

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. . . .

Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .

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?

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.

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?

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?

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

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.

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

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?

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?

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

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

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?

It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?

Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?

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

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

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.

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

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. . . .

A counter is placed in the bottom right hand corner of a grid. You toss a coin and move the star according to the following rules: ... What is the probability that you end up in the top left-hand. . . .

In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?

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?

With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.

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. . . .

Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?

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. . . .

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.

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 red square and a blue square overlap so that the corner of the red square rests on the centre of the blue square. Show that, whatever the orientation of the red square, it covers a quarter of the. . . .

Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.

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. . . .