A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which we can help learners move from being novice reasoners to expert reasoners.
Here are three 'tricks' to amaze your friends. But the really clever trick is explaining to them why these 'tricks' are maths not magic. Like all good magicians, you should practice by trying. . . .
Write down a three-digit number Change the order of the digits to get a different number Find the difference between the two three digit numbers Follow the rest of the instructions then try. . . .
I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
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. . . .
Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number. Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?
In this article for primary teachers we consider in depth when we might reason which helps us understand what reasoning 'looks like'.
Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?
This jar used to hold perfumed oil. It contained enough oil to fill granid silver bottles. Each bottle held enough to fill ozvik golden goblets and each goblet held enough to fill vaswik crystal. . . .
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with digits so that the arithmetic is correct.
Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.
Points A, B and C are the centres of three circles, each one of which touches the other two. Prove that the perimeter of the triangle ABC is equal to the diameter of the largest circle.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation.
In this 7-sandwich: 7 1 3 1 6 4 3 5 7 2 4 6 2 5 there are 7 numbers between the 7s, 6 between the 6s etc. The article shows which values of n can make n-sandwiches and which cannot.
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.
Which hexagons tessellate?
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
This article stems from research on the teaching of proof and offers guidance on how to move learners from focussing on experimental arguments to mathematical arguments and deductive reasoning.
Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?
Look at what happens when you take a number, square it and subtract your answer. What kind of number do you get? Can you prove it?
This article introduces the idea of generic proof for younger children and illustrates how one example can offer a proof of a general result through unpacking its underlying structure.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?
Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle now. . . .
I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I end up with exactly two marbles of each colour?
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
These formulae are often quoted, but rarely proved. In this article, we derive the formulae for the volumes of a square-based pyramid and a cone, using relatively simple mathematical concepts.
I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades?
Six points are arranged in space so that no three are collinear. How many line segments can be formed by joining the points in pairs?
We have exactly 100 coins. There are five different values of coins. We have decided to buy a piece of computer software for 39.75. We have the correct money, not a penny more, not a penny less! Can. . . .
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.