In this article for teachers, Elizabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington explore the differences between 'recording mathematics' and 'representing mathematical thinking'.
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a total of 15!
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99 How many ways can you do it?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square of another, larger, number.
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book. How many pages does the book have?
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the rule for giving another set of six numbers?
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using all 15 tables, with no empty places.
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.
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?
Can you make a train the same length as Laura's but using three differently coloured rods? Is there only one way of doing it?
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?
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?
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!
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
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?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
A game for 2 or more players. Practise your addition and subtraction with the aid of a game board and some dried peas!
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
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?
This is an adding game for two players.
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates yourself.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the way described?
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the information?
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you measure and how?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!