Mainly Number


Brief Description

Teacher’s Notes

Ben’s Game

Problem solving using fractions of amounts.(JS)

Task Plans


(digit cards)

A number problem involving the use of digit cards. (Paul Flinton)

Task Plans

In The Pink

(pink cards)

A task which develops the concept of ratio in the context of mixing paint.(JS)

Task Plans

Clock Face

An investigation. (Howard Hall)  

Chocolate Dilemma

A development of a ’starter activity’ involving fractions. (Janet Ingram)

Task Plans

Ratio and Proportion

A Durham Maths Mystery requiring pupils to solve a problem involving fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. (Darren Crossley)

Task Plans



(Maggie Smith)

Task Plans

Number Properties (1 )


A group task about numerical properties (Lee Lewis)

Task Plans

Number Properties (2)

An NRICH card sort activity involving numerical properties. (Lee Lewis)

Task Plans

Sealed Solution

(sealed solutions)

An NRich task from Y6 that is adapted for KS3. Mathematical content covers basic calculation skills and the level of reasoning increases as the task is extended. A main feature is that it prompts the question, ‘what happens if ….?’ (Peter Needham)

Task Plan

Biscuit Mystery

A problem involving fractions. (Joanne Waldron)extension (Peter Needham)
(solution is 27)

Fractions of a Square

A fractions problem from MARS (JS)

Task Plan

Palindromic Ages


A number problem involving investigating patterns and relationships between pairs of palindromic numbers. (Peter Needham)

Task Plan

What Temperature?

Pupils are required to estimate temperatures for a variety of different scenarios.(Sophie Garnett)  

6 Responses to Mainly Number

  • needhamp

    Thu 21st, 2009 @ 10:22pm

    The Biscuit Mystery.
    There’s more to this than meets the eye. The task can be extended by asking, ‘what could we do to this problem to develop it further?’ One way forward would be to steer it towards:
    ‘What other number of biscuits might have been left in the bowl for the same problem to work?’
    A futher development could be:
    ‘If there are 4 children instead of 3, how many biscuits might be left in the bowl for the problem to work?’
    This becomes quite a challenge and some systematic trialling of possible solutions involves much work with fractions and/or ratio depending how you view it (it can be demonstrated algebraically but that would detract from giving KS3 students the opportunity to trial own methods and develop reasoning skills). The abler mathematicians might spot a connection between the solutions to ‘3 children’ and ‘4 children’.
    I got very engrossed in this task. It has the opportunity to surprise if extended in this way….and that makes it even richer.
    Peter Needham

  • Omar Dada

    Sat 2nd, 2011 @ 5:52am

    Number Properties (1 )

    This task was done by my year 9 class. It worked well but the kids found an error with one of the clues ( The middle square has 3 factors).I told them that there was a red herring in the clues. They worked through the problem really quickly.To fill the rest of the time I asked each group to make up their own grid and to write up the clues themselves. Now I have approximately 9 new tasks for next year.

  • a51_ufo

    Tue 24th, 2011 @ 9:50pm

    Fantastic resources….though Number Properties (2) headings are missing :(

  • admin

    Thu 26th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Now hopefully sorted

  • a51_ufo

    Sun 5th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

    Thank you for sorting this out so quickly!

  • pauline

    Sat 22nd, 2013 @ 12:34pm

    The Biscuit Mystery
    I don’t understand why there would be 8 biscuits left if 27 biscuits were originally served. Since there were 3 boys, wouldn’t they each have 9 biscuits and therefore none left? Surely 27 is not the solution. What’s the solution please?

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