Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

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. . . .

The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?

Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?

Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .

Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?

The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.

If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.

Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?

It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter (p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship between p, i and the area of the polygons.

Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?

Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.

You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .

In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?

The diagram shows a 5 by 5 geoboard with 25 pins set out in a square array. Squares are made by stretching rubber bands round specific pins. What is the total number of squares that can be made on a. . . .

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.

Explore the effect of combining enlargements.

What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by 99 square board?

Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?

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. . . .

Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

Great Granddad is very proud of his telegram from the Queen congratulating him on his hundredth birthday and he has friends who are even older than he is... When was he born?

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. . . .

The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?