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. . . .
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.
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?
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.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
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.
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?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you can predict what will happen.
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
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 find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
Watch this animation. What do you notice? What happens when you try more or fewer cubes in a bundle?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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.
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
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?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
This article for primary teachers discusses how we can help learners generalise and prove, using NRICH tasks as examples.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
These tasks give learners chance to generalise, which involves identifying an underlying structure.