Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .
Dicey Operations for an adult and child. Can you get close to 1000 than your partner?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
A game to be played against the computer, or in groups. Pick a 7-digit number. A random digit is generated. What must you subract to remove the digit from your number? the first to zero wins.
Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Using balancing scales what is the least number of weights needed to weigh all integer masses from 1 to 1000? Placing some of the weights in the same pan as the object how many are needed?
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
This article for the young and old talks about the origins of our number system and the important role zero has to play in it.
How many more miles must the car travel before the numbers on the milometer and the trip meter contain the same digits in the same order?
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?
Nowadays the calculator is very familiar to many of us. What did people do to save time working out more difficult problems before the calculator existed?
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
32 x 38 = 30 x 40 + 2 x 8; 34 x 36 = 30 x 40 + 4 x 6; 56 x 54 = 50 x 60 + 6 x 4; 73 x 77 = 70 x 80 + 3 x 7 Verify and generalise if possible.
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Four of these clues are needed to find the chosen number on this grid and four are true but do nothing to help in finding the number. Can you sort out the clues and find the number?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
Carry out cyclic permutations of nine digit numbers containing the digits from 1 to 9 (until you get back to the first number). Prove that whatever number you choose, they will add to the same total.
Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the end and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. Did you get a multiple of 11?
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
This addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once. Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only possibility.
The number 27 is special because it is three times the sum of its digits 27 = 3 (2 + 7). Find some two digit numbers that are SEVEN times the sum of their digits (seven-up numbers)?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
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.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
This article, written for teachers, looks at the different kinds of recordings encountered in Primary Mathematics lessons and the importance of not jumping to conclusions!
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Each child in Class 3 took four numbers out of the bag. Who had made the highest even number?
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?
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one solution in each case?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
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 number 3723(in base 10) is written as 123 in another base. What is that base?
Becky created a number plumber which multiplies by 5 and subtracts 4. What do you notice about the numbers that it produces? Can you explain your findings?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
We are used to writing numbers in base ten, using 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Eg. 75 means 7 tens and five units. This article explains how numbers can be written in any number base.
What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
A school song book contains 700 songs. The numbers of the songs are displayed by combining special small single-digit cards. What is the minimum number of small cards that is needed?
Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.
Number problems for inquiring primary learners.