Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? 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?
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?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
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.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?
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.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
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?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.
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?
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?
Does this 'trick' for calculating multiples of 11 always work? Why or why not?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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 activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
These tasks give learners chance to generalise, which involves identifying an underlying structure.
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
This article for primary teachers discusses how we can help learners generalise and prove, using NRICH tasks as examples.
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. . . .
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. . . .
Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
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.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
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?
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.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Take a look at the video of this trick. Can you perform it yourself? Why is this maths and not magic?
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. . . .
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
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?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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 see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?