A resource to try once children are familiar with number lines, and they have begun to use them for addition. It could be a good way to talk about subtraction. Leah and Tom each have a number line. . . .
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person had.
Amy's mum had given her £2.50 to spend. She bought four times as many pens as pencils and was given 40p change. How many of each did she buy?
In 1871 a mathematician called Augustus De Morgan died. De Morgan made a puzzling statement about his age. Can you discover which year De Morgan was born in?
There are three buckets each of which holds a maximum of 5 litres. Use the clues to work out how much liquid there is in each bucket.
Cassandra, David and Lachlan are brothers and sisters. They range in age between 1 year and 14 years. Can you figure out their exact ages from the clues?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each pile.
There are lots of different methods to find out what the shapes are worth - how many can you find?
Can you find pairs of differently sized windows that cost the same?
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one solution in each case?
Sam sets up displays of cat food in his shop in triangular stacks. If Felix buys some, then how can Sam arrange the remaining cans in triangular stacks?
Use the information about Sally and her brother to find out how many children there are in the Brown family.
Lynne suggests activities which support the development of primary children's algebraic thinking.
Investigate this balance which is marked in halves. If you had a weight on the left-hand 7, where could you hang two weights on the right to make it balance?
Annie and Ben are playing a game with a calculator. What was Annie's secret number?
Max and Mandy put their number lines together to make a graph. How far had each of them moved along and up from 0 to get the counter to the place marked?
On a farm there were some hens and sheep. Altogether there were 8 heads and 22 feet. How many hens were there?
These eleven shapes each stand for a different number. Can you use the number sentences to work out what they are?
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
Sam's grandmother has an old recipe for cherry buns. She has enough mixture to put 45 grams in each of 12 paper cake cases. What was the weight of one egg?
Nearly all of us have made table patterns on hundred squares, that is 10 by 10 grids. This problem looks at the patterns on differently sized square grids.
When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?
These sixteen children are standing in four lines of four, one behind the other. They are each holding a card with a number on it. Can you work out the missing numbers?
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
If you hang two weights on one side of this balance, in how many different ways can you hang three weights on the other side for it to be balanced?
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
Think of a number and follow the machine's instructions... I know what your number is! Can you explain how I know?
By following through the threads of algebraic thinking discussed in this article, we can ensure that children's mathematical experiences follow a continuous progression.