Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is the number you’re left with odd or even? How do the images help to explain this?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
These tasks give learners chance to generalise, which involves identifying an underlying structure.
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can make? And the greatest?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .
Watch this video to see how to roll the dice. Now it's your turn! What do you notice about the dice numbers you have recorded?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
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.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
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.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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?
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Does this 'trick' for calculating multiples of 11 always work? Why or why not?
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Watch this animation. What do you notice? What happens when you try more or fewer cubes in a bundle?
Surprise your friends with this magic square trick.
Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
This article for primary teachers discusses how we can help learners generalise and prove, using NRICH tasks as examples.
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?