Look on the back of any modern book and you will find an ISBN code. Take this code and calculate this sum in the way shown. Can you see what the answers always have in common?
This task offers an opportunity to explore all sorts of number relationships, but particularly multiplication.
In November, Liz was interviewed for an article on a parents' website about learning times tables. Read the article here.
This article for teachers looks at how teachers can use problems from the NRICH site to help them teach division.
On a calculator, make 15 by using only the 2 key and any of the four operations keys. How many ways can you find to do it?
Find another number that is one short of a square number and when you double it and add 1, the result is also a square number.
Amy has a box containing domino pieces but she does not think it is a complete set. Which of her domino pieces are missing?
Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
Take the number 6 469 693 230 and divide it by the first ten prime numbers and you'll find the most beautiful, most magic of all numbers. What is it?
Your vessel, the Starship Diophantus, has become damaged in deep space. Can you use your knowledge of times tables and some lightning reflexes to survive?
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?
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?
This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?
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?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
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.
Mr. Sunshine tells the children they will have 2 hours of homework. After several calculations, Harry says he hasn't got time to do this homework. Can you see where his reasoning is wrong?
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a total of 15!
On the table there is a pile of oranges and lemons that weighs exactly one kilogram. Using the information, can you work out how many lemons there are?
Here is a picnic that Petros and Michael are going to share equally. Can you tell us what each of them will have?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more than way to do it?
Rocco ran in a 200 m race for his class. Use the information to find out how many runners there were in the race and what Rocco's finishing position was.
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?
Make a set of numbers that use all the digits from 1 to 9, once and once only. Add them up. The result is divisible by 9. Add each of the digits in the new number. What is their sum? Now try some. . . .
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on both sides have the same total?
All the girls would like a puzzle each for Christmas and all the boys would like a book each. Solve the riddle to find out how many puzzles and books Santa left.
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each pile.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
On my calculator I divided one whole number by another whole number and got the answer 3.125. If the numbers are both under 50, what are they?
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?
Can you find different ways of creating paths using these paving slabs?
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many sheep there are in each field.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the way described?
If you had any number of ordinary dice, what are the possible ways of making their totals 6? What would the product of the dice be each time?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?
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!
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?
Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will only answer 'yes' or 'no'.
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what happens?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates yourself.
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
This article for primary teachers encourages exploration of two fundamental ideas, exchange and 'unitising', which will help children become more fluent when calculating.
There are over sixty different ways of making 24 by adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing all four numbers 4, 6, 6 and 8 (using each number only once). How many can you find?
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house numbers.