If you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights, how many of each would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg?
Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
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?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?
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?
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?
Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter (p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship between p, i and the area of the polygons.
Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?
A game for 2 players
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.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
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 moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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.
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.
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. . . .
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =
Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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?”
I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
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.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
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?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?
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.
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?