In this article for teachers, Elizabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington explore the differences between 'recording mathematics' and 'representing mathematical thinking'.
Three dice are placed in a row. Find a way to turn each one so that the three numbers on top of the dice total the same as the three numbers on the front of the dice. Can you find all the ways to do. . . .
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
I was looking at the number plate of a car parked outside. Using my special code S208VBJ adds to 65. Can you crack my code and use it to find out what both of these number plates add up to?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.
This is an adding game for two players.
Investigate the totals you get when adding numbers on the diagonal of this pattern in threes.
Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?
I throw three dice and get 5, 3 and 2. Add the scores on the three dice. What do you get? Now multiply the scores. What do you notice?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street in different ways.
Can you draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as possible?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
In sheep talk the only letters used are B and A. A sequence of words is formed by following certain rules. What do you notice when you count the letters in each word?
These sixteen children are standing in four lines of four, one behind the other. They are each holding a card with a number on it. Can you work out the missing numbers?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?
Twizzle, a female giraffe, needs transporting to another zoo. Which route will give the fastest journey?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
The Scot, John Napier, invented these strips about 400 years ago to help calculate multiplication and division. Can you work out how to use Napier's bones to find the answer to these multiplications?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of three children. Use the information to find out what the three numbers were.
Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which things could she give exactly the right amount for?
Woof is a big dog. Yap is a little dog. Emma has 16 dog biscuits to give to the two dogs. She gave Woof 4 more biscuits than Yap. How many biscuits did each dog get?
There were 22 legs creeping across the web. How many flies? How many spiders?
Sam got into an elevator. He went down five floors, up six floors, down seven floors, then got out on the second floor. On what floor did he get on?
Can you work out how many flowers there will be on the Amazing Splitting Plant after it has been growing for six weeks?
In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more than way to do it?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on both sides have the same total?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go. Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
A lady has a steel rod and a wooden pole and she knows the length of each. How can she measure out an 8 unit piece of pole?
Can you arrange fifteen dominoes so that all the touching domino pieces add to 6 and the ends join up? Can you make all the joins add to 7?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears, yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?
In this 100 square, look at the green square which contains the numbers 2, 3, 12 and 13. What is the sum of the numbers that are diagonally opposite each other? What do you notice?
Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
Can you follow the rule to decode the messages?
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different numbers and different rules.
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
This activity is best done with a whole class or in a large group. Can you match the cards? What happens when you add pairs of the numbers together?