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. . . .
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?
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.
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. . . .
Can you figure out how sequences of beach huts are generated?
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?”
Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?
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. . . .
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 � 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so. . . .
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
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.
Does this 'trick' for calculating multiples of 11 always work? Why or why not?
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
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?
Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .
15 = 7 + 8 and 10 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what happens?
I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
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?
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 animation. What do you notice? What happens when you try more or fewer cubes in a bundle?
Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.
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?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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.
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Take a look at the video of this trick. Can you perform it yourself? Why is this maths and not magic?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
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?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...