Transum Maths Software

Algebra

There are 366 different Starters of The Day, many to choose from. You will find in the left column below some starters on the topic of Algebra. In the right column below are links to related online activities, videos and teacher resources.

A lesson starter does not have to be on the same topic as the main part of the lesson or the topic of the previous lesson. It is often very useful to revise or explore other concepts by using a starter based on a totally different area of Mathematics.

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Algebra Starters:

Add 'em: Add up a sequence of consecutive numbers. Can you find a quick way to do it?

Arithmagons: This lesson starter requires pupils to find the missing numbers in this partly completed arithmagon puzzle.

BTS: You have four minutes to write down as many equations as you can involving B, T and S.

Cars: Calculate the total cost of four cars from the information given.

Chin Ups: Work out the number of chin ups the characters do on the last day of the week give information about averages.

Christmas Presents: Work out the total cost of five Christmas presents from the information given.

Connecting Rules: Give 20 rules connecting x and y given their values.

Giraffe: The height of this giraffe is three and a half metres plus half of its height. How tall is the giraffe?

Half Hearted: Find the number which when added to the top (numerator) and bottom (denominator) of each fraction make it equivalent to one half.

Khmer's Homework: Check a student's homework. If you find any of the answers are wrong write down a sentence or two explaining what he did wrong.

Lemon Law: Change the numbers on the apples so that the number on the lemon is the given total.

Less Than: This mathematics lesson starter invites pupils to interpret a three part algebraic inequality.

Light Shopping: A lamp and a bulb together cost 32 pounds. The lamp costs 30 pounds more than the bulb. How much does the bulb cost?

Missing Lengths: Introduce linear equations by solving these problems about about lengths.

Negative Vibes: Practise techniques for answering questions involving negative numbers.

Nincompoop: Which algebraic expression is the odd one out?

Online Psychic: Work out why subtracting a two digit number from its reverse gives a multiple of nine.

Planet Numpair: The sum and product are given, can you find the two numbers?

PYA: You have four minutes to write down as many equations as you can involving the given letters.

Pyramid Puzzle: Arrange numbers at the bottom of the pyramid which will give the largest total at the top.

Rabbits and Chickens: There are some rabbits and chickens in a field. Calculate how many of each given the number of heads and feet.

Rail Weigh: Record the weights of the trains to work out the weight of a locomotive and a coach. A real situation which produces simultaneous equations.

Same Same: A problem involving two people's ages which can be solved using algebra.

Santa's Sleigh: Work out the number of clowns and horses given the number of heads and feet.

Sea Shells: A question which can be best answered by using algebra.

Simultaneous Occasions: A problem which can best be solved as a pair of simultaneous equations.

Stable Scales: Solve these balance puzzles by taking the same away from both sides. An introduction to linear equations.

Sum of the Signs: Each traffic sign stands for a number. Some of the sums of rows and columns are shown. What numbers might the signs stand for?

Summer Holidays: There are some children and donkeys on a beach. Together they have 25 heads and 64 legs. How many children? How many donkeys?

Think Back: A problem which can be answered by forming an algebraic equation then solving it.

THOAN: THOAN stands for 'Think of a number'

Ticker News: A Think Of A Number problem presented as a news ticker.

 

Complete Index of Starters

Featured Activity

Lemon Law

Lemon Law

A fascinating digit changing challenge. Change the numbers on the apples so that the number on the lemon is the given total. Can you figure out, by understanding place value, how this works?

 

Feedback:

Comment recorded on the 1 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Phil Anthony, Head of Maths, Stourport High School:

"What a brilliant website. We have just started to use the 'starter-of-the-day' in our yr9 lessons to try them out before we change from a high school to a secondary school in September 2007. This is one of the best resources on-line we have found. The kids and staff love it. Well done an thank you very much for making my maths lessons more interesting and fun."

Comment recorded on the 28 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Malcolm P, Dorset:

"A set of real life savers!!
Keep it up and thank you!"

Comment recorded on the 12 July 'Starter of the Day' page by Miss J Key, Farlingaye High School, Suffolk:

"Thanks very much for this one. We developed it into a whole lesson and I borrowed some hats from the drama department to add to the fun!"

Comment recorded on the 2 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Angela Lowry, :

"I think these are great! So useful and handy, the children love them.
Could we have some on angles too please?"

Comment recorded on the 18 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs. Peacock, Downe House School and Kennet School:

"My year 8's absolutely loved the "Separated Twins" starter. I set it as an optional piece of work for my year 11's over a weekend and one girl came up with 3 independant solutions."

Comment recorded on the 14 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Trish Bailey, Kingstone School:

"This is a great memory aid which could be used for formulae or key facts etc - in any subject area. The PICTURE is such an aid to remembering where each number or group of numbers is - my pupils love it!
Thanks"

Comment recorded on the 19 November 'Starter of the Day' page by Lesley Sewell, Ysgol Aberconwy, Wales:

"A Maths colleague introduced me to your web site and I love to use it. The questions are so varied I can use them with all of my classes, I even let year 13 have a go at some of them. I like being able to access the whole month so I can use favourites with classes I see at different times of the week. Thanks."

Comment recorded on the 16 March 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs A Milton, Ysgol Ardudwy:

"I have used your starters for 3 years now and would not have a lesson without one! Fantastic way to engage the pupils at the start of a lesson."

Comment recorded on the 11 January 'Starter of the Day' page by S Johnson, The King John School:

"We recently had an afternoon on accelerated learning.This linked really well and prompted a discussion about learning styles and short term memory."

Comment recorded on the 7 December 'Starter of the Day' page by Cathryn Aldridge, Pells Primary:

"I use Starter of the Day as a registration and warm-up activity for my Year 6 class. The range of questioning provided is excellent as are some of the images.
I rate this site as a 5!"

Comment recorded on the 14 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Inger Kisby, Herts and Essex High School:

"Just a quick note to say that we use a lot of your starters. It is lovely to have so many different ideas to start a lesson with. Thank you very much and keep up the good work."

Comment recorded on the 25 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Inger.kisby@herts and essex.herts.sch.uk, :

"We all love your starters. It is so good to have such a collection. We use them for all age groups and abilities. Have particularly enjoyed KIM's game, as we have not used that for Mathematics before. Keep up the good work and thank you very much
Best wishes from Inger Kisby"

Comment recorded on the 28 May 'Starter of the Day' page by L Smith, Colwyn Bay:

"An absolutely brilliant resource. Only recently been discovered but is used daily with all my classes. It is particularly useful when things can be saved for further use. Thank you!"

Comment recorded on the 23 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Judy, Chatsmore CHS:

"This triangle starter is excellent. I have used it with all of my ks3 and ks4 classes and they are all totally focused when counting the triangles."

Comment recorded on the 19 October 'Starter of the Day' page by E Pollard, Huddersfield:

"I used this with my bottom set in year 9. To engage them I used their name and favorite football team (or pop group) instead of the school name. For homework, I asked each student to find a definition for the key words they had been given (once they had fun trying to guess the answer) and they presented their findings to the rest of the class the following day. They felt really special because the key words came from their own personal information."

Comment recorded on the 2 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs Wilshaw, Dunsten Collage,Essex:

"This website was brilliant. My class and I really enjoy doing the activites."

Comment recorded on the 17 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Hall, Light Hall School, Solihull:

"Dear Transum,

I love you website I use it every maths lesson I have with every year group! I don't know were I would turn to with out you!"

Notes:

Pupils begin their study of algebra by investigating number patterns. Later they construct and express in symbolic form and use simple formulae involving one or many operations. They use brackets, indices and other constructs to apply algebra to real word problems. This leads to using algebra as an invaluable tool for solving problems, modelling situations and investigating ideas.

If this topic were split into four sub topics they might be:

Creating and simplifying expressions;
Expanding and factorising expressions;
Substituting and using formulae;
Solving equations and real life problems;

This is a powerful topic and has strong links to other branches of mathematics such as number, geometry and statistics. See also "Number Patterns", "Negative Numbers" and "Simultaneous Equations".

Algebra Teacher Resources:

eQuation Generator: An unlimited supply of linear equations just waiting to be solved.

Online Psychic: Work out why subtracting a two digit number from its reverse gives a multiple of nine.

Algebra Activities:

Algebra In Action: Real life problems adapted from an old Mathematics textbook which can be solved using algebra.

Algebra Pairs: The classic Pelmanism or pairs game requiring you to match equivalent expressions.

Algebraic Notation: Simplification using the normal conventions of algebra.

BIDMAS: A self marking exercise testing the application of BIDMAS, an acronym describing the order of operations used when evaluating expressions.

Brackets: Simplify and manipulate algebraic expressions involving brackets to maintain equivalence in this self-marking, multi-level quiz.

Changing The Subject: Rearrange a formula in order to find a new subject in this self marking exercise.

Clouds: Can you work out which numbers are hidden behind the clouds in these calculations?

Connecting Rules: If you are given the values of x and y which of these equations is correct?

eQuation Generator: An unlimited supply of linear equations just waiting to be solved.

Equations: A series of exercise, in increasing order of difficulty, requiring you to solve linear equations. The exercises are self marking.

Factorising: Practise the skills of algebraic factorisation in this structured online self marking exercise.

Factorising Quadratics: A drill and practice exercise about factorising quadratics.

Inequalities: Check that you know what inequality signs mean and how they are used to compare two quantities. Includes negative numbers, decimals, fractions and metric measures.

Lemon Law: Change the numbers on the apples so that the number on the lemon is the given total.

Matchstick Patterns: Create a formula to describe the nth term of a sequence by examining the structure of the diagrams.

Missing Lengths: Find the unknown lengths in the following diagrams and learn some algebra at the same time.

Online Psychic: Work out why subtracting a two digit number from its reverse gives a multiple of nine.

Quadratic Equations: Solve these quadratic equations in this seven-level, self-marking online exercise.

Recurring Decimals: Find the pairs of whole numbers that give the given quotients.

Stable Scales: Ten balance puzzles to prepare you for solving equations.

Substitution: Substitute the given values into the algebraic expressions.

Think of a Number: Ten students think of a number then perform various operations on that number and tell you the answer. You have to find what the original numbers were.

Words and Concepts: Fill in the missing words to show an understanding of the vocabulary of equations, inequalities, terms and factors.

Finally there's Topic Test, a set of 10 randomly chosen, multiple choice questions suggested by people from around the world.

Algebra Investigations:

Crossing the River: Two men and two boys want to cross a river and they only have one canoe which will only hold one man or two boys.

Lamp posts: What is the greatest number of lamp-posts that could be needed for a given village?

Steps: Investigate this growing sequence of steps.

Transum Calendar: Investigate the connection between the numbers in a T shape drawn on this month's calendar.

Algebra Videos:

Quadratic Formula Song: A song from Math Upgrade dot com.

Simultaneous Equations: This video demonstrates how to solve simultaneous equations by elimination.

Algebra External Links:

Links to other websites containing resources for Algebra are provided for teachers logged into 'Class Admin'. Subscribing to this service also opens up the opportunity for you to add your own links to this panel.

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