When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

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. . . .

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?

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. . . .

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

Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?

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. . . .

The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

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.

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

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.

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?

Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?

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 for. . . .

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?

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

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. . . .

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

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?

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 a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?

Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?

Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?

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.

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The loser is the player who takes the last counter.

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?

Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?