In this article for teachers, Elizabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington explore the differences between 'recording mathematics' and 'representing mathematical thinking'.
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
The picture shows a lighthouse and many underwater creatures. If you know the markings on the lighthouse are 1m apart, can you work out the distances between some of the different creatures?
The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
In this game, you can add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers on the dice. Which will you do so that you get to the end of the number line first?
Try out some calculations. Are you surprised by the results?
Shut the Box game for an adult and child. Can you turn over the cards which match the numbers on the dice?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go. Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?
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?
Twizzle, a female giraffe, needs transporting to another zoo. Which route will give the fastest journey?
Start by putting one million (1 000 000) into the display of your calculator. Can you reduce this to 7 using just the 7 key and add, subtract, multiply, divide and equals as many times as you like?
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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
How have the numbers been placed in this Carroll diagram? Which labels would you put on each row and column?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
These caterpillars have 16 parts. What different shapes do they make if each part lies in the small squares of a 4 by 4 square?
Are these domino games fair? Can you explain why or why not?
Have a go at this game which involves throwing two dice and adding their totals. Where should you place your counters to be more likely to win?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
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?
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find out how long they take.
In this investigation, you are challenged to make mobile phone numbers which are easy to remember. What happens if you make a sequence adding 2 each time?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
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.
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.
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!
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on both sides have the same total?
In your bank, you have three types of coins. The number of spots shows how much they are worth. Can you choose coins to exchange with the groups given to make the same total?
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?
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?
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?
Investigate the totals you get when adding numbers on the diagonal of this pattern in threes.
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
Choose four of the numbers from 1 to 9 to put in the squares so that the differences between joined squares are odd.
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?
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?
Ben’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?