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?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?
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?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?
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. . . .
I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
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?
Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
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.
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
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?
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?
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?
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?
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.
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
A game for 2 players
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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.
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.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
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 how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
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.