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.
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?
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?
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.
There are two forms of counting on Vuvv - Zios count in base 3 and
Zepts count in base 7. One day four of these creatures, two Zios
and two Zepts, sat on the summit of a hill to count the legs of. . . .
Can you create a Latin Square from multiples of a six digit number?
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.
The number 3723(in base 10) is written as 123 in another base. What
is that base?
Four strategy dice games to consolidate pupils' understanding of rounding.
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!
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
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. . . .
What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to
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 two digits and arrange them to make two double-digit
numbers. Now add your double-digit numbers. Now add your single
digit numbers. Divide your double-digit answer by your single-digit
answer. . . .
When asked how old she was, the teacher replied: My age in years is
not prime but odd and when reversed and added to my age you have a
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
Watch our videos of multiplication methods that you may not have met before. Can you make sense of them?
Take the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and imagine them written down in
every possible order to give 5 digit numbers. Find the sum of the
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.
Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the 'back of
the queue' and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. What
properties do your answers always have?
Explore the relationship between simple linear functions and their
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?
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
There are six numbers written in five different scripts. Can you sort out which is which?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
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?
Exploring the structure of a number square: how quickly can you put the number tiles in the right place on the grid?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
Think of any three-digit number. Repeat the digits. The 6-digit
number that you end up with is divisible by 91. Is this a
You have two sets of the digits 0 – 9. Can you arrange these in the five boxes to make four-digit numbers as close to the target numbers as possible?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
Each child in Class 3 took four numbers out of the bag. Who had
made the highest even number?
Number problems for inquiring primary learners.
A school song book contains 700 songs. The numbers of the songs are displayed by combining special small single-digit boards. What is the minimum number of small boards that is needed?
Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? Why?
Can you arrange the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 into three 3-digit
numbers such that their total is close to 1500?
When the number x 1 x x x is multiplied by 417 this gives the
answer 9 x x x 0 5 7. Find the missing digits, each of which is
represented by an "x" .
How many positive integers less than or equal to 4000 can be
written down without using the digits 7, 8 or 9?
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)?
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
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.
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. . . .
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.