On a calculator, make 15 by using only the 2 key and any of the four operations keys. How many ways can you find to do it?
Look on the back of any modern book and you will find an ISBN code. Take this code and calculate this sum in the way shown. Can you see what the answers always have in common?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
On the planet Vuv there are two sorts of creatures. The Zios have 3 legs and the Zepts have 7 legs. The great planetary explorer Nico counted 52 legs. How many Zios and how many Zepts were there?
Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.
There are three buckets each of which holds a maximum of 5 litres. Use the clues to work out how much liquid there is in each bucket.
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?
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 happens?
Rocco ran in a 200 m race for his class. Use the information to find out how many runners there were in the race and what Rocco's finishing position was.
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
Fill in the numbers to make the sum of each row, column and diagonal equal to 34. For an extra challenge try the huge American Flag magic square.
Find another number that is one short of a square number and when you double it and add 1, the result is also a square number.
On the table there is a pile of oranges and lemons that weighs exactly one kilogram. Using the information, can you work out how many lemons there are?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house numbers.
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?
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?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
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?
Tell your friends that you have a strange calculator that turns numbers backwards. What secret number do you have to enter to make 141 414 turn around?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more than way to do it?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the triangle adds to the same total.
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on both sides have the same total?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Annie cut this numbered cake into 3 pieces with 3 cuts so that the numbers on each piece added to the same total. Where were the cuts and what fraction of the whole cake was each piece?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each pile.
Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.
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?
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?
Find out what a Deca Tree is and then work out how many leaves there will be after the woodcutter has cut off a trunk, a branch, a twig and a leaf.
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person had.
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find out how long they take.
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
There are over sixty different ways of making 24 by adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing all four numbers 4, 6, 6 and 8 (using each number only once). How many can you find?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
Can you find different ways of creating paths using these paving slabs?
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?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
If each of these three shapes has a value, can you find the totals of the combinations? Perhaps you can use the shapes to make the given totals?
Put a number at the top of the machine and collect a number at the bottom. What do you get? Which numbers get back to themselves?
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
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!
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most efficient.
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.
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.
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?
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?
Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which things could she give exactly the right amount for?