In this article for teachers, Elizabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington explore the differences between 'recording mathematics' and 'representing mathematical thinking'.
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
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?
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?
This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?
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?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on both sides have 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?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?
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!
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?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Generate large numbers then give the values of each digit.
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street in different ways.
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?
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?
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?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more than way to do it?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock face. Can you work out who received each piece?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
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.
Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.
Well now, what would happen if we lost all the nines in our number system? Have a go at writing the numbers out in this way and have a look at the multiplications table.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the triangle adds to the same total.
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?
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?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates yourself.
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?
This dice train has been made using specific rules. How many different trains can you make?
How would you count the number of fingers in these pictures?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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.
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?
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?
Complete these two jigsaws then put one on top of the other. What happens when you add the 'touching' numbers? What happens when you change the position of the jigsaws?
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?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.