Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?
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?
Alf describes how the Gattegno chart helped a class of 7-9 year olds gain an awareness of place value and of the inverse relationship between multiplication and division.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
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?
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?
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.
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?
A school song book contains 700 songs. The numbers of the songs are displayed by combining special small single-digit cards. What is the minimum number of small cards that is needed?
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?
Each child in Class 3 took four numbers out of the bag. Who had made the highest even number?
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
How many more miles must the car travel before the numbers on the milometer and the trip meter contain the same digits in the same order?
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
Visitors to Earth from the distant planet of Zub-Zorna were amazed when they found out that when the digits in this multiplication were reversed, the answer was the same! Find a way to explain. . . .
Replace the letters with numbers to make the addition work out correctly. R E A D + T H I S = P A G E
This article for primary teachers expands on the key ideas which underpin early number sense and place value, and suggests activities to support learners as they get to grips with these ideas.
In this article, Alf outlines six activities using the Gattegno chart, which help to develop understanding of place value, multiplication and division.
This article for primary teachers encourages exploration of two fundamental ideas, exchange and 'unitising', which will help children become more fluent when calculating.
This article develops the idea of 'ten-ness' as an important element of place value.
This set of activities focuses on ordering, an important aspect of place value.
One of the key ideas associated with place value is that the position of a digit affects its value. These activities support children in understanding this idea.
These tasks will help learners develop their understanding of place value, particularly giving them opportunities to express numbers as amounts.
This feature aims to support you in developing children's early number sense and understanding of place value.
More upper primary number sense and place value tasks.
Try out some calculations. Are you surprised by the results?
Use your knowledge of place value to try to win this game. How will you maximise your score?
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. . . .
There are six numbers written in five different scripts. Can you sort out which is which?
This challenge is to make up YOUR OWN alphanumeric. Each letter represents a digit and where the same letter appears more than once it must represent the same digit each time.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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.
Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the end and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. Did you get a multiple of 11?
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 substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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.
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
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?
What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
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. . . .
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?