Transum Maths Software

Mental Methods

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 Mental Methods. 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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Mental Methods Starters:

A Thousand and One: Develop a quick way of mentally multiplying any number by 1001.

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.

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 few 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.

Three Wise Gifts: Find as many sets of three of the available numbers as possible which add up to the given total.

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.

Weather Report: Find five integers that multiply together to give a product of twelve.

 

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

Featured Activity

Online Logo

Online Logo

An opportunity for students to write a computer program. There is nothing to download, all of the interaction takes place in the browser. Great for understanding angles and the properties of shapes.

 

Curriculum for Mental Methods:

Year 5

Pupils should be taught to count forwards or backwards in steps of powers of 10 for any given number up to 1 000 000 more...

Pupils should be taught to add and subtract numbers mentally with increasingly large numbers more...

Pupils should be taught to multiply and divide numbers mentally drawing upon known facts more...

Pupils should be taught to multiply and divide whole numbers and those involving decimals by 10, 100 and 1000 more...

Year 6

Pupils should be taught to perform mental calculations, including with mixed operations and large numbers more...

Pupils should be taught to identify the value of each digit in numbers given to three decimal places and multiply and divide numbers by 10, 100 and 1000 giving answers up to three decimal places more...

Pupils should be taught to solve problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division more...

Pupils should be taught to use estimation to check answers to calculations and determine, in the context of a problem, an appropriate degree of accuracy. more...

Feedback:

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 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 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 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 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 1 August '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.
Thanks for such a great resource!"

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 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!"

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 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."

Notes:

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.

Calculating 'in your head' can be a difficult task. If you cannot remember what you have worked out or simply do not know how to solve a problem then it can be very challenging and frustrating. It is important to learn and practise mental arithmetic and using mathematical patterns, you can dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of your mental mathematics.

See also the Arithmetic topic and our Number Skills Inventory.

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:

23 or Bust: A game involving mental arithmetic and strategy for two players or one player against the computer.

Beat The Clock: It is a race against the clock to answer 30 mental arithmetic questions. There are nine levels to choose from.

Bidmaze: Find your way through the maze encountering mathematical operations in the correct order to achieve the given total.

Brainbox: A puzzle requiring the arrangement of numbers on the function machines to link the given input numbers to the correct output.

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 two to nine.

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?

Furthermore: A self-marking exercise on counting forwards or backwards in tens, hundreds, thousands etc.

Grid Arithmetic: Fill in a multiplication grid with the answers to simple multiplication and division questions.

Hard Times: The hardest multiplication facts (according to Transum research) are presented in the form of pairs games.

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.

No Partner: Find which numbers in a given list do not combine with other numbers on the list to make a given sum.

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.

One Minute Maths: A challenge to mentally add numbers together without making the classic place value mistakes.

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.

Sum to One: Find pairs of numbers that add up to one.

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.

Triplets: Find as many sets of three of the available numbers as possible which add up to the given total.

Triside Totals: Arrange the digits 1 to 9 on the triangle so that the sum of the numbers along each side is equal to the given total.

Tug of War: A game for two players or teams testing their speedy reactions to mental arithmetic questions.

Zygo: Interactive, randomly-generated, number-based logic puzzle designed to develop numeracy skills.

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!

Times Tables in 10 minutes: Jill Mansergh uses a number stick to teach the 17 times table in less than ten minutes.

Mental Methods Worksheets/Printables:

Fast Factors Board: A printable page to be used with the Fast Factors Activity.

Game Board for 23 or Bust: A printable game board for 23 or Bust. Choose your own object to serve as the lifesaver such as a pencil sharpener, a rubber or a coin.

Missing Operations Worksheet: Each red box represents a missing operation (plus, minus, times or divide). Can you work out what they are?

Strategy for 23 or Bust: A printable worksheet containing a table to be filled in with the best moves for the game 23 or Bust.

Mental Methods External Links:

Links to other websites containing resources for Mental Methods 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:

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Friday, November 3, 2017

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