Mental Methods Starters:
Abundant Buses: A game based around the concept of abundant numbers.
Add Quickulations: Calculations appear on the screen every few seconds. This mental arithmetic starter provides pace to the start of the Maths lesson.
Ancient Mysteries: This activity requires students to memorise fifteen numbers in a three by five grid.
Countdown: How close can you get to the target by making a calculation from the five numbers given?
Division Quickulations: Random division calculations appear on screen every few seconds.
Eleventh of the Eleventh: Practise multiplying and dividing by eleven in your head.
Family Buses: Fit families onto eleven seater buses without splitting up the families.
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?
Four Factors: Find four single digit numbers that multiply together to give 120. How many different ways are there of answering this question?
Four to Seven: Which of the numbers from one to twenty can you make with the digits 4, 5, 6 and 7?
Fractions Decimals Percentages: Convert fractions to decimals, decimals to percentages and percentages to fractions.
Know Your Place: Without a calculator perform some calculations requiring a knowledge of place value.
Mental Maths Quiz: A traditional twenty question mental arithmetic test presented as a PowerPoint presentation.
Mult Sum Diff Div: For each pair of numbers multiply the sum by the difference then divide the answer by 5.
Multiply Quickulations: Random multiplications appear on screen every few seconds.
Multiply, Add, Subtract and Divide: For each pair of numbers subtract the sum from the product then divide the result by 20 without a calculator.
No Partner: Find which numbers in a given list do not combine with other numbers on the list to make a given sum.
Outnumbered: Which group of four numbers, arranged in a square, has the largest total?
PercenTable: Complete the table by calculating common percentages without using a calculator.
Positions Please: Stand at the point between the classroom walls to represent a given number.
Quick: Develop a quick way of multiplying by 1001.
Refreshing Revision: It is called Refreshing Revision because every time you refresh the page you get different revision questions.
Six Discrimination: An activity involving a calculator which is missing the six button. Can you evaluate the given expressions without using the six?
Strange Tables: A challenge to learn an unfamiliar times table involving decimals.
Subtract Quickulations: Calculations appear on the screen every 10 seconds.
Suko: Interactive number-based logic puzzle similar to those featuring in The Times and Telegraph newspapers.
Table Legs: Learn an unusual times table from the strategic finger moving up and down the 'Table Leg'!
Table Spiders: Multiply the number on the spider's back by the numbers next to its legs.
Take Sides: Put up your right hand or left hand depending on the expressions that appears.
Team Age: Work out who is in which team from the information given.
Timed Tables: How fast can you answer 24 mixed times tables questions?
Triple Totals: Complete the sums using only the given numbers then check your calculations are correct.
Triplets: Find as many sets of three of the available numbers as possible which add up to the given total.
Tutu 5!: Which of the numbers from 1 to 20 can you make with the digits: 2, 3, 4 and 5?
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 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
Comment recorded on the 1 February 'Starter of the Day' page by M Chant, Chase Lane School Harwich:
"My year five children look forward to their daily challenge and enjoy the problems as much as I do. A great resource - thanks a million."
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 9 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Jones, Wales:
"I think that having a starter of the day helps improve maths in general. My pupils say they love them!!!"
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 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 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 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 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.
Comment recorded on the 17 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Hall, Light Hall School, Solihull:
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 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 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 2 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Angela Lowry, :
"I think these are great! So useful and handy, the children love them.
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 28 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Malcolm P, Dorset:
"A set of real life savers!!
Comment recorded on the i asp?ID_Top 'Starter of the Day' page by Peter Wright, St Joseph's College:
"Love using the Starter of the Day activities to get the students into Maths mode at the beginning of a lesson. Lots of interesting discussions and questions have arisen out of the activities.
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 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 6 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Natalie, London:
"I am thankful for providing such wonderful starters. They are of immence help and the students enjoy them very much. These starters have saved my time and have made my lessons enjoyable."
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 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."
Though using pencil and paper are as useful as having up-to-date technology skills, there is no substitute for strategic mental methods for working out calculations and solving problems. The activities in this topic are designed to improve pupils' abilities to use their brains.
Mental Methods Teacher Resources:
Flash Tables: A never ending sequence of times tables questions to be projected on to a whiteboard or screen.
Just In Time: Every 10 seconds a new calculation appears on the screen: A dynamic visual aid.
Percentages: Practise calculating simple percentages in your head with this animated visual aid.
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?
Quickulations: A mental arithmetic visual aid that displays random calculations then after a few seconds displays the answers.
Mental Methods Activities:
Beat The Clock: It is a race against the clock to answer 30 mental arithmetic questions. There are nine levels to choose from.
Chain Challenge: How fast can you perform all of the given operations without using a calculator?
Digital Darts: An online darts game for one or two players requiring skill, strategy and mental arithmetic.
Digivide: Arrange the numbers from 1 to 6 in the spaces to make the division calculation correct.
Divisibility Test: Practise using the quick ways to spot whether a number is divisible by the digits 2 to 9.
Dump-A-Dice Race: An online board game for two players involving prime and square numbers and making choices.
Eleven In Your Head: Multiply numbers by eleven in your head.
Estimation Golf: Play a round of golf using your estimation skills rather than golf clubs.
Fast Factors: How quickly can you arrange the cards to match the times tables?
Know Your Place: Without a calculator perform some calculations requiring a knowledge of place value.
Make 1000: Use the numbers on the strange calculator to make a total of 1000
Masad: For each pair of numbers subtract the sum from the product then divide the result by 20 without a calculator.
Mixpressions: Arrange the cards to create a valid mathematical statement.
Nine Nine Nine: Use the digits 1 to 9 to make three 3 digit numbers which add up to 999.
Number Crunch Saga: A lively numeracy game requiring you to align three numbers to create the given target sum or product.
Number Skills Inventory: A checklist of basic numeracy techniques that every pupil should know.
Numskull: Interactive, randomly-generated, number-based logic puzzle designed to develop numeracy skills.
Pairs 240: Find the pairs of numbers that multiply together to give a product of 240
Pairs Eleven: Find pairs of playing cards of the same suit which add up to eleven.
Pairs Twenty One: Find the pairs of numbers that add up to 21.
Powten: Practise multiplying and dividing by powers of ten without using a calculator.
Quick: Can you multiply a number by 1001 in your head? This exercise provides practice in this and other similar challenges.
Stamp Sticking: Drag stamps onto the envelopes to make the exact postage as shown at the top left of each envelope.
Sum Game: A game against the clock to find the numbers which add up to the target number.
TablesMaster: How fast can you answer times table questions? This activity provides feedback to help you improve.
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 Tables: A collection of activities to help you learn your times tables in only 5 days.
Mental Methods Videos:
Can't Add Up!: This simple Maths problem often baffles even really smart people. Can you solve it?
Maths Fact Fluency: A four-step process for taking pupils on the path from acquisition to automaticity
Memorise the Multiplication Table: A quick overview of methods for learning all one hundred multiplication facts from 1x1 to 10x10.
Mental Maths Tricks: This video lesson shows you tips on how to multiply faster than ever!
Nine Times Fingers: Learn your 9 times table fast using your fingers!
Mental Methods Worksheets:
Missing Operations Worksheet: Each red box represents a missing operation (plus, minus, times or divide). Can you work out what they are?
Mental Methods External Links:
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