Transum Maths Software


There are 366 different Starters of The Day, many to choose from. You will find below some starters on the topic of Arithmetic. 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.

Main Page

Arithmetic Starters:

5.5 Times Table

Write out the 5.5 times table as far as possible.

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.


Arrange the numbers 1 to 14 in the circles so that the sums are correct.

All for 100

Can you write an expression for 100 which uses all the digits 1 to 9?

All The Nines

Add up all the numbers in the nine times table.


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

Aunt Sophie's Post Office

Work out the number of stamps needed to post a parcel.

Big Order

Estimate or calculate then put the large numbers in order of size.


The calculations are obscured by ink blots. What do you think the calculations would look like if there were no blots?

Broken Calculator

Use only the 1, 5 and 0 keys on a calculator to make given totals.

Broken Calculator (2 and 3)

Make the numbers 1 to 10 using only the keys on the broken calculator.

Broken Calculator (3 and 4)

Some keys are missing from this calculator. Just how useful is it?

Broken Calculator (4 and 5)

Which numbers can be made with the buttons which have not yet dropped off this calculator?


A game for two players requiring a calculator and thinking skills.

Calculator Nim

A game in which players take turns to add a single-digit number to what is already in the calculator. The winner is the player who makes the display show 30.


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


Some calculations are partly obscured. Work out what those calculations might be.


Three consecutive numbers multiplied together give a given product. Students are asked to figure out what the numbers are.

Consecy Brothers

Which three consecutive numbers multiplied together give the given answer.


How close can you get to the target by making a calculation from the five numbers given?

Cracked Clock

How did the clock break if the numbers on each of the pieces added up to the same total?

Cracker Joke

Answer the mental arithmetic questions then convert the answers to letters to find the joke.


Arrange the digits 1 to 6 to make a three digit number divided by a two digit number giving a one digit answer.


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

Division Quickulations

Random division calculations appear on screen every few seconds.

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?

Eleventh of the Eleventh

Practise multiplying and dividing by eleven in your head.

Faulty Button

Find out which of the calculator keys is faulty from the given information. A mathematical puzzle requiring good problem solving strategies.


Find words which cost 100p if A costs 1p, B costs 2p etc


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?


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

Fly Catching

Find which whole number divided by another whole number gives the answer: 1.090909091

For Starters

Four calculations. Add up the answers.

For Thought

Add up the answers to the four real life questions.

Four Gone

An activity involving a broken calculator which is missing the four button. Can you evaluate the given expressions without using the four?

Four Make 999

Find four numbers from those given that add up to 999. How many different sets of four numbers can be found?

Four problems

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

Four to Seven

Which of the numbers from one to twenty can you make with the digits 4, 5, 6 and 7?

Four's Independence

A clock face containing only the number 4. Can you make a clock face containing any other single number?

Half a Dozen

Six calculations to complete without a calculator.

Half a Pound

If A costs 1p, B costs 2p, etc can you find a word which costs exactly 50p?

Half and Half

Start with 100. Halve it to get 50. Halve that to get 25. Continue as far as possible.

Halve it

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

Happy Numbers

To find out whether a number is happy or not, square each of its digits, add the answers and repeat. If you end up with 1 the number is happy! How many other happy numbers can you find?

Hole in One

If six girls can plant 90 trees in a day. How many trees can ten girls plant in a day? The unitary method.

How Do You Do?

A little lateral thinking will help you solve this number puzzle.

How many of Each?

Pens cost 12p each, Pencils cost 9p each, Richard spent 72p altogether. How many pens and pencils did he buy?

Inbetween Table

Write down as many multiples of 3.5 as possible in 3.5 minutes.


Loosely based on the famous television show, how many questions cn you come up with for a given answer?

Justundera Quid

Find a word whose letters would cost exactly ninety nine pence.

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.

Know Weigh

Find the weight of one cuboid (by division) of each colour then add your answers together.

Letter Clue Calculations

Work out what the calculations might be from the letter clues.

Lucky Numbers

Arrange the numbers so that the totals of the three numbers along any line are the same.


Do as many of the calculations as possible before the maggots infest!

Magic Square

Arrange the numbers 1 to 9 in a 3 by 3 grid to form a magic square.

May Day

Add together the dates of all the Thursdays in May this year. Which day sum is largest?

Mental Maths Quiz

A traditional twenty question mental arithmetic test presented as a PowerPoint presentation.

Mental Maths Test

The starter is a PowerPoint file containing a twenty question mental arithmetic test. It will advance from one question to the next automatically.

Meta Products

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

Mirror Maths

The bottom half of some symmetrical calculations are shown above. Can you work out the answers?

Missing digits

Work out what the missing digits in the calculations are.

Missing Operations

Each red box represents a missing operation (+, -, x or ÷). Can you work out what they are?

Missing Pound

A puzzle about a restaurant bill. Exactly where did the missing pound go?

Ms Tayke

How many times can you take one number from another?

Multiplication Grid

Copy and complete the multiplication grid. The higher levels include negative numbers.

Multiply Quickulations

Random multiplications appear on screen every few seconds.

Nine Digit Sum

Arrange the digits one to nine to make a correct addition calculation.

Nine Nine Nine

Arrange the numbers 1-9 to make three 3 digit numbers that 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.


Divide one whole number by another on your calculator. If the answer has one digit repeated but no other digits you have a Noodlewhack.

On The Double

Double the numbers given in the table.

One Digit 100

How many ways can you write an expression for 100 which only uses the same digit repeated and any operations?

Only One Number

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


Which group of four numbers, arranged in a square, has the largest total?

Pears Make Squares

Find three numbers such that each pair of numbers adds up to a square number.


Five numbers are added together in pairs and the sums shown. What might the five numbers be?


Complete the table by calculating common percentages without using a calculator.

Plane Numbers

Arrange numbers on the plane shaped grid to produce the given totals

Planet Numpair

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


A number puzzle suitable for children with a wide range of abilities.

Plus Four

Work out the answers to the four given sums then add the answers together.

Positions Please

Stand at the point between the classroom walls to represent a given number.

Product Practice

Work out the answers to the given calculations then add the answers together. There are three different levels of difficulty.


Complete the calculations with the weights of the puddings

Pyramid Puzzle

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


Develop a quick way of multiplying by 1001.


Work out the answers to the given division calculations then add the answers together.

Recurring Decimal

Use your calculator to find which whole number divided by another whole number gives the answer 1.36363636

Refreshing Revision

It is called Refreshing Revision because every time you refresh the page you get different revision questions.

Render Digitful

Find a calculation for the current year which uses all of the digits 1 to 9.

Roman Numerals

Learn a very different method for writing numbers using Roman numerals.


Go around the roundabout performing each of the operations. Which starting point gives the largest answer?

Rounding 1dp

Round off the given numbers to 1 decimal place then add the answers together.

Rounding 2dp

Round off the given numbers to 2 decimal places then add the answers together.

Rounding Whole

Round off the given numbers to the nearest whole number then add the answers together.

Route to Las Vegas

Work out the cheapest way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas by choosing the best route and adding up the given numbers.


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

Second Holiday

Estimate then work out the period of time equal to the given number of seconds.

Shadow Sums

Make sums from the three digit numbers given.

Sid's Schemes

Work out which is the best scheme for Sid to choose for his summer bonus. One scheme involves a common misconception about percentages.

Sign Sequences

Continue the sequences if you can work out the rule.

Six Discrimination

An activity involving a calculator which is missing the six button. Can you evaluate the given expressions without using the six?

Six of the Best

Six calculations to perform without a calculator.


Arrange the numbers on the grid of squares so that the totals along each line of three squares are equal.

Square Pairs

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

Square Thinkers

Can you find three square numbers where the third is the sum of the first two?

Stacks of Sums

Write down many different types of calculations which give a particular answer.


Which of the coloured stencils will fit over the numbered card to produce correct calculations?

Strange Tables

A challenge to learn an unfamiliar times table involving decimals.

Student Loans

Six students borrow £5000 to help pay for their university course. Calculate how much each student will have to pay back to the lender.

Subtract Quickulations

Calculations appear on the screen every 10 seconds.

Sudoku Sum

What is the sum of the numbers missing from the given Sudoku puzzle?

Sum Square

Arrange the numbers one to eight into the calculations to make the totals correct..

Sum Story

Make up real life stories for the given calculations.

Table Legs

Learn an unusual times table from the strategic finger moving up and down the 'Table Leg'!


Use the given numbers to produce a calculation to get as close as possible to the given target.

Tasty Take-Aways

Four subtractions to be done without a calculator. The answers are then to be added together.

Team Age

Work out who is in which team from the information given.

Three Make 1000

Find three numbers from those given that add up to 1000. How many different sets of three numbers can be found?

Three Wise Gifts

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

Ticker News

A Think Of A Number problem presented as a news ticker.

Time Trials

You have 10 seconds to answer each of the mental arithmetic questions.

Timed Tables

How fast can you answer 24 mixed times tables questions?


Place the numbers on the triangle so that the totals along each of the sides are equal.

Triple Totals

Complete the sums using only the given numbers then check your calculations are correct.


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

Twin Totals

Find the two calculations that give the same total.

Two Numbers

Find the two numbers whose sum and product are given.

Two Thirds

Make a poster showing a variety of calculations that give the answer two thirds.

Unmagic Square

Arrange the numbers 1 to 9 in a 3 by 3 grid so that none of the line totals are the same.

Use the digits

Create a calculation with the given digits to equal a given target.

Verruca Value

The Verruca Value of a word is the number of vowels multiplied by the number of consonants. How many words can you find with Verruca Value of 24?

Warm Up

Four quick Maths questions to warm up the brain.

What are they?

A starter about sums, products, differences, ratios, square and prime numbers.

Word Difference

Can you find substitutions which will make the word sum correct?

Word Sum

Each letter stands for a different digit. Can you make sense of word sum?

Wrong Way Round

Find calculations which written back to front give the same answer.


Other activities for this topic | | |  Complete Index of Starters


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.



Have today's Starter of the Day as your default homepage. Copy the URL below then select
Tools > Internet Options (Internet Explorer) then paste the URL into the homepage field.

Set as your homepage (if you are using Internet Explorer)


Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments.


©1997-2017 WWW.TRANSUM.ORG