In this article for teachers, Elizabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington explore the differences between 'recording mathematics' and 'representing mathematical thinking'.
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
In this game, you can add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers on the dice. Which will you do so that you get to the end of the number line first?
Add or subtract the two numbers on the spinners and try to complete a row of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
Shut the Box game for an adult and child. Can you turn over the cards which match the numbers on the dice?
When I fold a 0-20 number line, I end up with 'stacks' of numbers on top of each other. These challenges involve varying the length of the number line and investigating the 'stack totals'.
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
The picture shows a lighthouse and many underwater creatures. If you know the markings on the lighthouse are 1m apart, can you work out the distances between some of the different creatures?
In this investigation, you are challenged to make mobile phone numbers which are easy to remember. What happens if you make a sequence adding 2 each time?
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?
In sheep talk the only letters used are B and A. A sequence of words is formed by following certain rules. What do you notice when you count the letters in each word?
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?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go. Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
In this 100 square, look at the green square which contains the numbers 2, 3, 12 and 13. What is the sum of the numbers that are diagonally opposite each other? What do you notice?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find out how long they take.
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
These caterpillars have 16 parts. What different shapes do they make if each part lies in the small squares of a 4 by 4 square?
Are these domino games fair? Can you explain why or why not?
Have a go at this game which involves throwing two dice and adding their totals. Where should you place your counters to be more likely to win?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many sheep there are in each field.
Twizzle, a female giraffe, needs transporting to another zoo. Which route will give the fastest journey?
Choose four of the numbers from 1 to 9 to put in the squares so that the differences between joined squares are odd.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
Investigate the totals you get when adding numbers on the diagonal of this pattern in threes.
Can you arrange fifteen dominoes so that all the touching domino pieces add to 6 and the ends join up? Can you make all the joins add to 7?
A lady has a steel rod and a wooden pole and she knows the length of each. How can she measure out an 8 unit piece of pole?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on both sides have the same total?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of three children. Use the information to find out what the three numbers were.
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?
Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?
I throw three dice and get 5, 3 and 2. Add the scores on the three dice. What do you get? Now multiply the scores. What do you notice?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street in different ways.
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
I was looking at the number plate of a car parked outside. Using my special code S208VBJ adds to 65. Can you crack my code and use it to find out what both of these number plates add up to?
This is an adding game for two players.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
Can you draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as possible?
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.