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. . . .
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.
Watch our videos of multiplication methods that you may not have met before. Can you make sense of them?
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?
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!
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 resulting numbers.
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 perfect square...
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?
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to one million?
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.
Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? Why?
There are six numbers written in five different scripts. Can you sort out which is which?
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 coincidence?
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?
Exploring the structure of a number square: how quickly can you put the number tiles in the right place on the grid?
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
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.
Explore the relationship between simple linear functions and their graphs.
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
Number problems for inquiring primary learners.
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?
Amazing as it may seem the three fives remaining in the following `skeleton' are sufficient to reconstruct the entire long division sum.
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?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
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.
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. . . .
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.
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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?
Consider all of the five digit numbers which we can form using only the digits 2, 4, 6 and 8. If these numbers are arranged in ascending order, what is the 512th number?
Investigate the different ways these aliens count in this challenge. You could start by thinking about how each of them would write our number 7.
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.
Can you show that 1^99 + 2^99 + 3^99 + 4^99 + 5^99 is divisible by 5?
This is a game in which your counters move in a spiral round the snail's shell. It is about understanding tens and units.
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.
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...