Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
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.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.
A game to be played against the computer, or in groups. Pick a 7-digit number. A random digit is generated. What must you subract to remove the digit from your number? the first to zero wins.
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one solution in each case?
Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? Why?
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 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?
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
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?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?
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?
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?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
This article for primary teachers encourages exploration of two fundamental ideas, exchange and 'unitising', which will help children become more fluent when calculating.
Use your knowledge of place value to try to win this game. How will you maximise your score?
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?
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?
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.
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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.
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. . . .
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
The Number Jumbler can always work out your chosen symbol. Can you work out how?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
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.
Follow the clues to find the mystery number.
In this article, Alf outlines six activities using the Gattegno chart, which help to develop understanding of place value, multiplication and division.
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.
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?
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?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
32 x 38 = 30 x 40 + 2 x 8; 34 x 36 = 30 x 40 + 4 x 6; 56 x 54 = 50 x 60 + 6 x 4; 73 x 77 = 70 x 80 + 3 x 7 Verify and generalise if possible.
Each child in Class 3 took four numbers out of the bag. Who had made the highest even number?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
Watch our videos of multiplication methods that you may not have met before. Can you make sense of them?
Investigate the different ways these aliens count in this challenge. You could start by thinking about how each of them would write our number 7.