Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Take any whole number between 1 and 999, add the squares of the digits to get a new number. Make some conjectures about what happens in general.
Three people chose this as a favourite problem. It is the sort of problem that needs thinking time - but once the connection is made it gives access to many similar ideas.
Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?
Investigate the successive areas of light blue in these diagrams.
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
A story for students about adding powers of integers - with a festive twist.
Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .
What is the total area of the first two triangles as a fraction of the original A4 rectangle? What is the total area of the first three triangles as a fraction of the original A4 rectangle? If. . . .
There are lots of ideas to explore in these sequences of ordered fractions.
Choose any 4 whole numbers and take the difference between consecutive numbers, ending with the difference between the first and the last numbers. What happens when you repeat this process over and. . . .
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?
How many different ways can I lay 10 paving slabs, each 2 foot by 1 foot, to make a path 2 foot wide and 10 foot long from my back door into my garden, without cutting any of the paving slabs?
Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?
Explain why the arithmetic sequence 1, 14, 27, 40, ... contains many terms of the form 222...2 where only the digit 2 appears.
A tower of squares is built inside a right angled isosceles triangle. What fraction of the area of the triangle is covered by the squares?
Can you show that 1^99 + 2^99 + 3^99 + 4^99 + 5^99 is divisible by 5?
What is the remainder when 2^2002 is divided by 7? What happens with different powers of 2?
This article for teachers describes the exchanges on an email talk list about ideas for an investigation which has the sum of the squares as its solution.
Alison, Bernard and Charlie have been exploring sequences of odd and even numbers, which raise some intriguing questions...
Which of these pocket money systems would you rather have?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
Can you puzzle out what sequences these Logo programs will give? Then write your own Logo programs to generate sequences.
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
Make some intricate patterns in LOGO
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
I've made some cubes and some cubes with holes in. This challenge invites you to explore the difference in the number of small cubes I've used. Can you see any patterns?
In this activity, the computer chooses a times table and shifts it. Can you work out the table and the shift each time?
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
July 1st 2001 was on a Sunday. July 1st 2002 was on a Monday. When did July 1st fall on a Monday again?
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds. What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you are given?
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?
Here is a machine with four coloured lights. Can you develop a strategy to work out the rules controlling each light?
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
Explore one of these five pictures.
Formulate and investigate a simple mathematical model for the design of a table mat.
How do you know if your set of dominoes is complete?
Show that 8778, 10296 and 13530 are three triangular numbers and that they form a Pythagorean triple.
If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each time?
There are ten children in Becky's group. Can you find a set of numbers for each of them? Are there any other sets?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?
Square numbers can be represented on the seven-clock (representing these numbers modulo 7). This works like the days of the week.
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
Investigate the numbers that come up on a die as you roll it in the direction of north, south, east and west, without going over the path it's already made.