Transum Maths Software


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 Number. 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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Number Starters:

A Very Strange Game: Four different actions depending on the number which appears.

Abundant Buses: A game based around the concept of abundant numbers.

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

All The Nines: Add up all the numbers in the nine times table.

Ancient Mysteries: This activity requires students to memorise fifteen numbers in a three by five grid.

Aunt Sophie's Post Office: Work out the number of stamps needed to post a parcel.

Can You Decide?: Recognise odd, even, square, prime and triangular numbers.

Christmas Bells: If all the bells ring together at noon, at what time will they next all ring together? This problem requires the use of LCM.

Christmas Eve: How many palindromic numbers can you find?

ClockEquate: Can you use the digits on the left of this clock along with any mathematical operations to equal the digits on the right?

Coins in Envelopes: Fifteen pennies are placed in four envelopes and the envelopes are sealed. It is possible to pay someone any amount from 1p to 15p by giving them one or more envelopes. How were the pennies distributed between the envelopes?

Consecutive Squares: What do you notice about the difference between the squares of consecutive numbers?

Dancing: Work out how many people were at the dance from the clues given.

Dice Nets: Determine whether the given nets would fold to produce a dice.

Dimidiate: Arrange the digits from 1 to 9 in alphabetical order. How many times can this number be halved?

Divided Age: How old is a person if when her age is divided by certain numbers, the calculator display ending are as shown.

Double Trouble: Begin with one, double it, double it again and so on. How many numbers in this sequence can you write down before the register has been called?

Factuples: Spot the factors and the multiples amongst the numbers in the grid.

Famous Birthday: Work out the date Will was born by answering some number questions.

Flabbergasted: If each number in a sequence must be a factor or multiple of the previous number what is the longest sequence that can be made from the given numbers?

Flowchart: Use the flowchart to generate a sequence of numbers. Which number will reach 1 the fastest?

Four Factors: Find four single digit numbers that multiply together to give 120. How many different ways are there of answering this question?

Four problems: For mathematical questions to get everyone thinking at the beginning of the lesson..

Halve it: Start with 512. Halve it to get 256. Halve it to get 128. Continue as far as possible.

Handshakes: If all the students in this room shook hands with each other, how many handshakes would there be altogether?

Hot Numbers: Move the numbered cards to form five 2 digit numbers which are all multiples of three.

Hotel Digital: A puzzle about the lifts in a hotel which serve floors based on the day of the week.

House Numbers: The numbers on five houses next to each other add up to 70. What are those five numbers?

Inbetween Table: Write down as many multiples of 3.5 as possible in 3.5 minutes.

Last Day: The 31st of December is the last day of the year. What mathematical lasts do you know?

Leap Year: A question about the birthdays of a child born on the 29th February.

Letters in a Number: Questions about the number of letters in numbers.

Maths Riddles: Can you work out the numbers from the given clues.

Meta Products: Which numbers when multiplied by the number of letters in the word(s) of the number give square numbers?

Missing Terms: Find the missing terms from these linear sequences.

Name Again: Work out what the nth letter will be in a recurring pattern of letters in a person's name

Negative Numbers: Perform calculations involving negative numbers

Odd One Out: From the numbers given, find the one that is the odd one out.

Only One Number: Find other numbers that can be changed to 1 on a calculator using only the 4 key and any operation.

Pears Make Squares: Find three numbers such that each pair of numbers adds up to a square number.

Perfect Numbers: Six is a perfect number as it is the sum of its factors. Can you find any other perfect numbers?

Plane Numbers: Arrange numbers on the plane shaped grid to produce the given totals

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

Register: When the register is called answer with a multiple of 7.

Ropey Snowballs: Arrange the numbers on the snowballs so that no two consecutive numbers are directly connected by rope.

Satisfaction: Rearrange the numbers, row and column headings so that this table is mathematically correct.

Scaramouche: Can you work out from the five clues given what the mystery number is?

Seeing Squares: How many square numbers can be found in the grid of digits.

Sign Sequences: Continue the sequences if you can work out the rule.

Simple Nim: The classic game of Nim played with a group of pens and pencils. The game can be extended to the multi-pile version.

Small Satisfaction: Arrange the digits one to nine in the grid so that they obey the row and column headings.

Square and Even: Arrange the numbers on the cards so that each of the three digit numbers formed horizontally are square numbers and each of the three digit numbers formed vertically are even.

Square Angles: Find a trapezium, a triangle and a quadrilateral where all of the angles are square numbers.

Square Christmas Tree: Draw a picture of a Christmas tree using only square numbers.

Square Pairs: Arrange the numbered trees so that adjacent sums are square numbers.

Square Sequence: Write out as many square numbers as possible in 4 minutes.

Squigits: A challenge to find numbers which have each of their digits as square numbers.

The Power of Christmas: Find a power of 2 and a power of 3 that are consecutive numbers.

The story of ...: Be creative and come up with as many facts about a number as you can think of.

Tindice: How can you put the dice into the tins so that there is an odd number of dice in each tin?

Twelve Days: A Maths puzzle based on the 12 Days of Christmas song.

Two Numbers: Find the two numbers whose sum and product are given.

Upside Number: Work out the phone number from the clues given.

Venn Diagram: Arrange numbers on the Venn Diagram according to their properties.

What are they?: A starter about sums, products, differences, ratios, square and prime numbers.

Advanced Number Starters


Small images of these Starters | | |  Complete Index of Starters

Featured Activity

Great Expectation

Great Expectation

An interactive online activity requiring logical thinking and a certain amount of luck. Numbers 1 to 6 are presented randomly and are to be used to produce two 2-digit numbers. Can you ensure that the first number is greater than the second?



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!

Comment recorded on the 19 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Nikki Jordan, Braunton School, Devon:

"Excellent. Thank you very much for a fabulous set of starters. I use the 'weekenders' if the daily ones are not quite what I want. Brilliant and much appreciated."

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 8 December 'Starter of the Day' page by 7(1), Highfield School:

"We found: excitement, marvellous, transported, photography, chocolatey, dictionary, Donald Trump and Mr Quagmire. It also prompted a discussion on the ratio of consonants to vowels in words. We have one with 7:1."

Comment recorded on the 5 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Stoner, St George's College of Technology:

"This resource has made a great deal of difference to the standard of starters for all of our lessons. Thank you for being so creative and imaginative."

Comment recorded on the 21 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Trainor And His P7 Class(All Girls), Mercy Primary School, Belfast:

"My Primary 7 class in Mercy Primary school, Belfast, look forward to your mental maths starters every morning. The variety of material is interesting and exciting and always engages the teacher and pupils. Keep them coming please."

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 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs Johnstone, 7Je:

"I think this is a brilliant website as all the students enjoy doing the puzzles and it is a brilliant way to start a lesson."

Comment recorded on the 1 February 'Starter of the Day' page by Terry Shaw, Beaulieu Convent School:

"Really good site. Lots of good ideas for starters. Use it most of the time in KS3."

Comment recorded on the 26 March 'Starter of the Day' page by Julie Reakes, The English College, Dubai:

"It's great to have a starter that's timed and focuses the attention of everyone fully. I told them in advance I would do 10 then record their percentages."

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 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Fiona Bray, Cams Hill School:

"This is an excellent website. We all often use the starters as the pupils come in the door and get settled as we take the register."

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. 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 10 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Carol, Sheffield PArk Academy:

"3 NQTs in the department, I'm new subject leader in this new academy - Starters R Great!! Lovely resource for stimulating learning and getting eveyone off to a good start. Thank you!!"

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

"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 10 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mike Sendrove, Salt Grammar School, UK.:

"A really useful set of resources - thanks. Is the collection available on CD? Are solutions available?"

Comment recorded on the 17 November 'Starter of the Day' page by Amy Thay, Coventry:

"Thank you so much for your wonderful site. I have so much material to use in class and inspire me to try something a little different more often. I am going to show my maths department your website and encourage them to use it too. How lovely that you have compiled such a great resource to help teachers and pupils.
Thanks again"

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 9 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Jan, South Canterbury:

"Thank you for sharing such a great resource. I was about to try and get together a bank of starters but time is always required elsewhere, so thank you."

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 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 24 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Ruth Seward, Hagley Park Sports College:

"Find the starters wonderful; students enjoy them and often want to use the idea generated by the starter in other parts of the lesson. Keep up the good work"

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 10 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Transum, :

"Sorry Mike, because some of the starters link to live data on the Internet there is no CD version. Thanks for your comments."

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by S Mirza, Park High School, Colne:

"Very good starters, help pupils settle very well in maths classroom."


Spotting patterns is an important skill in many areas of life. The world of numbers contains many fascinating patterns and understanding them enables better problem solving strategies. From seeing patterns in the multiples of numbers shaded in a hundred square to spotting the recurring sequences of digits in decimal numbers there is a great deal for pupils to be introduced to.

This topic includes even, odd, prime, triangular, perfect, abundant, square and cube numbers. It uses factors and multiples to find solutions to real life problems and encourages number connections to be investigated for pleasure. There are a lot of puzzles, challenges and games too.

See also the Mental Methods topic and our Number Skills Inventory.

Number Teacher Resources:

Binary Lights: Represent binary numbers with a row of ligts which can be turned on or off.

Counter: A dynamic visual aid that counts! Choose the first term, common difference and the speed

Formal Written Methods: Examples of formal written methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Hot Number Challenges: The ten Hot Number challenges ready to project onto your whiteboard.

Maths Mind Reader: Investigate this amazing mind reading performance based on simple mathematical principles.

Number Line: This is a visual aid designed to be projected onto a whiteboard for whole class exposition.

Pesto: Students classify numbers randomly appearing on the screen by holding up cards

Playing Card Maths: Imagine you are on a desert island with nothing but a pack of playing cards. Do you have to stop learning mathematics?

Prison Cell Problem: A number patterns investigation involving prisoners and prison guards.

Satisfaction: This is quite a challenging number grouping puzzle requiring a knowledge of prime, square and triangular numbers.

Sieve of Eratosthenes: A self checking, interactive version of the Sieve of Eratosthenes method of finding prime numbers.

Number Activities:

Consecutive Numbers: Find the consective numbers that are added or multiplied to give the given totals

Delightfully Divisible: Arrange the digits one to nine to make a number which is divisible in the way described.

Dice Net Challenge: Drag the numbers onto the net so that when it is folded to form a cube numbers on opposite faces add up to prime numbers.

Divisibility Test: Practise using the quick ways to spot whether a number is divisible by the digits 2 to 9.

Don't Shoot The Square: Shoot the numbers but don't shoot any square numbers.

Dump-A-Dice Race: An online board game for two players involving prime and square numbers and making choices.

Factor Trees: Create factor trees to find the prime factors of the given numbers.

Fizz Buzzer: The digital version of the popular fizz buzz game. Press the buzzers if they are factors of the counter.

HCF and LCM: Practise finding the highest common factor (H.C.F), sometimes called the greatest common divisor, and the lowest common multiple (L.C.M) of two numbers.

Hot Numbers: Move the numbered cards to form five 2 digit numbers which obey the given rules.

Magic Square Puzzle: Find all of the possible ways of making the magic total from the numbers in this four by four magic square.

Missing Terms: Can you work out which numbers are missing from these number sequences?

Nim: Nim is a mathematical game of strategy in which two players take turns removing objects from groups of objects. Whoever takes the last object wins.

Number Crunch Saga: A lively numeracy game requiring you to align three numbers to create the given target sum or product.

Number Jigsaws: Online, interactive jigsaw puzzles of grids of numbers.

Number Skills Inventory: A checklist of basic numeracy techniques that every pupil should know.

Number Systems: Place the numbers in the correct sets in this concentric circles Venn diagram.

Pairs 240: Find the pairs of numbers that multiply together to give a product of 240

Plane Numbers: Arrange numbers on the plane shaped grid to produce the given totals

Powten: Practise multiplying and dividing by powers of ten without using a calculator.

Prime Labyrinth: Find the path to the centre of the labyrinth by moving along the prime numbers.

Prime Square: Drag the numbers into the red cells so that the sum of the three numbers in each row and each column is a prime number.

Prison Cell Problem: A number patterns investigation involving prisoners and prison guards.

River Crossing: The traditional River Crossing challenge. Can you do it in the smallest number of moves?

Roman Numerals Jigsaw: An online interactive jigsaw puzzle of a grid of Roman numerals.

Roman Numerals Quiz: This online, self marking quiz tests your ability to convert Roman numerals.

Satisfaction: This is quite a challenging number grouping puzzle requiring a knowledge of prime, square and triangular numbers.

Satisfy: Place the nine numbers in the table so they obey the row and column headings.

Scallywags and Scoundrels: Arrange the scallywags and scoundrels on the chairs so that the numbers of any two sitting next to each other add up to a prime number.

Sieve of Eratosthenes: A self checking, interactive version of the Sieve of Eratosthenes method of finding prime numbers.

Square and Even: Arrange the numbers on the cards so that each of the three digit numbers formed horizontally are square numbers and each of the three digit numbers formed vertically are even.

Stamp Sticking: Drag stamps onto the envelopes to make the exact postage as shown at the top left of each envelope.

Suko Sujiko: Interactive number-based logic puzzles similar to those featuring in daily newspapers.

Three Ways: Find three different ways of multiplying four different digits together to get the given target number. There are nine levels for this online challenge.

Times Square: Practise your times tables with this self-checking multiplication grid

Times Tables: A collection of activities to help you learn your times tables in only 5 days.

Twelve Days: How many gifts did my true love send to me according to the traditional Christmas song 'Twelve Days of Christmas'.

Venn Diagram: Place each of the numbers 1 to 16 on the correct regions on the Venn diagram.

What Are They?: An exercise about sums, products, differences, ratios, square and prime numbers.

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

Number Investigations:

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

Decimal Products: Find two decimal numbers that add up to exactly one. What is the product of these two decimals?

Digit Sums and Multiples: Investigate numbers which are multiples of the sum of their digits.

Handshakes: If everyone in this room shook hands with each other, how many handshakes would there be?

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

Leapfrog: An investigation of the fewest number of moves required to make the blue and green frogs swap places.

lnvestigating stamps: How many different letters can you send with the given stamps.

Maths Mind Reader: Investigate this amazing mind reading performance based on simple mathematical principles.

Number Stairs: Find the relationships between the numbers on different size grids.

Palandromic numbers: How many steps does each number take to become palandromic?

Snooker Investigation: Investigate a special snooker table with only four pockets. Which hole will the snooker ball fall into for various sized snooker tables?

Steps: Investigate this growing sequence of steps.

Trapezia: Which numbers can be represented by groups of circles in the shape of a trapezium?

Number Videos:

BIDMAS Misconception: This Maths problem went viral on Twitter and there has been debate about the answer. Presh explains why one interpretation is considered correct.

Finding Prime Factors: A straight forward explanation from SLEP

Problems with Zero: Dividing by zero, zero divided by zero and zero to the power of zero - all pose problems!

Number Worksheets:

Divided Age Worksheet: Additional questions for the 6th December Starter of the Day about the decimal part of quotients.

How Many Squares? 1: A printable grid containing many copies of the design used in the shape counting Starter.

How Many Squares? 2: A printable grid containing many copies of the design used in the second shape counting Starter.

How Many Squares? 3: A printable grid containing many copies of the design used in the third shape counting Starter.

Lemon Law Worksheet: Can you find the solution to these Lemon Law challenges using a spreadsheet?

Pesto Cards: Cards to print for pupils to use in the 'Can You Decide?' activity.

Number External Links:

Links to other websites containing resources for Number are provided for those logged into 'Transum Mathematics'. Subscribing also opens up the opportunity for you to add your own links to this panel. You can sign up using one of the buttons below:


The activity you are looking for may have been classified in a different way from the way you were expecting. You can search the whole of Transum Maths by using the box below.






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Recently Updated

Tables Conga

Tables Conga

Use the arrow keys to collect all the multiples in order while avoiding the Conga Virus! So far this activity has been accessed 79477 times and 3535 people have earned a Transum Trophy for completing it.



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