Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
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?
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.
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. . . .
I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
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.
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
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?
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?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
Does this 'trick' for calculating multiples of 11 always work? Why or why not?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
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.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
These tasks give learners chance to generalise, which involves identifying an underlying structure.
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
A game for 2 players with similarities to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.
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?
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?
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 activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
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.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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. . . .