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?

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. . . .

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

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

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 and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

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

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?

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

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

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.

Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?

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. . . .

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...

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

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.

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?

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. . . .

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

Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?

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

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?

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.

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

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?

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

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. . . .

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?

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. . . .

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.

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

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

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.

Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?

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

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?