Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
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?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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?
This article for primary teachers encourages exploration of two fundamental ideas, exchange and 'unitising', which will help children become more fluent when calculating.
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?
Think of any three-digit number. Repeat the digits. The 6-digit number that you end up with is divisible by 91. Is this a coincidence?
Three people chose this as a favourite problem. It is the sort of problem that needs thinking time - but once the connection is made it gives access to many similar ideas.
Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one solution in each case?
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. . . .
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?
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?
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?
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?
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. . . .
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?
In this article, Alf outlines six activities using the Gattegno chart, which help to develop understanding of place value, multiplication and division.
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.
Which is quicker, counting up to 30 in ones or counting up to 300 in tens? Why?
Follow the clues to find the mystery number.
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?
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?
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.
This article develops the idea of 'ten-ness' as an important element 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.
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
This set of activities focuses on ordering, an important aspect of place value.
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.
Suppose you had to begin the never ending task of writing out the natural numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.... and so on. What would be the 1000th digit you would write down.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
By selecting digits for an addition grid, what targets can you make?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
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?
Explore the relationship between simple linear functions and their graphs.
Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .
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.
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 positive integers less than or equal to 4000 can be written down without using the digits 7, 8 or 9?
These tasks will help learners develop their understanding of place value, particularly giving them opportunities to express numbers as amounts.
Watch our videos of multiplication methods that you may not have met before. Can you make sense of them?
Nowadays the calculator is very familiar to many of us. What did people do to save time working out more difficult problems before the calculator existed?