In this article for teachers, Elizabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington explore the differences between 'recording mathematics' and 'representing mathematical thinking'.
This article for teachers looks at how teachers can use problems from the NRICH site to help them teach division.
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?
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?
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?
Here is a picnic that Petros and Michael are going to share equally. Can you tell us what each of them will have?
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?
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?
Use this grid to shade the numbers in the way described. Which numbers do you have left? Do you know what they are called?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
All the girls would like a puzzle each for Christmas and all the boys would like a book each. Solve the riddle to find out how many puzzles and books Santa left.
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on both sides have the same total?
This big box multiplies anything that goes inside it by the same number. If you know the numbers that come out, what multiplication might be going on in the box?
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?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each pile.
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?
Use this information to work out whether the front or back wheel of this bicycle gets more wear and tear.
Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will only answer 'yes' or 'no'.
Grandma found her pie balanced on the scale with two weights and a quarter of a pie. So how heavy was each pie?
Chandrika was practising a long distance run. Can you work out how long the race was from the information?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many sheep there are in each field.
Resources to support understanding of multiplication and division through playing with number.
In November, Liz was interviewed for an article on a parents' website about learning times tables. Read the article here.
This problem is designed to help children to learn, and to use, the two and three times tables.
Look at what happens when you take a number, square it and subtract your answer. What kind of number do you get? Can you prove it?
Can you work out what a ziffle is on the planet Zargon?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
I'm thinking of a number. When my number is divided by 5 the remainder is 4. When my number is divided by 3 the remainder is 2. Can you find my number?
After training hard, these two children have improved their results. Can you work out the length or height of their first jumps?
Amy has a box containing domino pieces but she does not think it is a complete set. She has 24 dominoes in her box and there are 125 spots on them altogether. Which of her domino pieces are missing?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? Why?
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.
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most efficient.
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.
There are four equal weights on one side of the scale and an apple on the other side. What can you say that is true about the apple and the weights from the picture?
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person had.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
56 406 is the product of two consecutive numbers. What are these two numbers?