Know Weigh







The weight of a cuboid depends on its colour. What is the weight of the four cuboids, one of each colour, on the scales immediately above? No calculators allowed!

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day


Topics: Starter | Arithmetic

  • The Best Maths Class Ever 7cd/m2, King Alfreds, Oxfordshire, Wantage
  • We all found the first two quite BORING because they were too easy but We all found the 3rd one very hard. The last one was a bit hard. Louis, Liam, Jasper and Sir all got the 3rd one right. Everyone got the 1st and 2nd right.
  • Mrs Tanner, Darrick Wood Junior School
  • We used it as a revision for chunking. We all felt confident with the bus stop method so we had stopped thinking about chunking for larger numbers.
  • Year 6, Brookfield Primary Langwith Junction
  • We thought this was difficult until we thought about it, and then found them quite easy. DO NOT be defeated by BIG numbers!!!!
  • Transum,
  • This Starter was updated in 2014. The original activity involved slightly larger numbers. The comments above refer to that previous version of this starter which you can find below as the extension activity.

    This is another one of those starters that doesn't seem particularly interesting, puzzling or funny but it is part of the range of activities pupils should participate in. Your main lesson theme for today might be on geometry but it is so important to keep those vital numeracy skills well practised. When did your pupils last do this kind of calculation without a calculator?

How did you use this starter? Can you suggest how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.
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Excellent, I would like to see more like this
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This starter has scored a mean of 3.1 out of 5 based on 174 votes.

Previous Day | This starter is for 18 June | Next Day



288g + 172g + 1174g + 574g = 2208g

Note to teacher: Doing this activity once with a class helps students develop strategies. It is only when they do this activity a second time that they will have the opportunity to practise those strategies. That is when the learning is consolidated. Click the button above to regenerate another version of this starter from random numbers.


The Starter above was redesigned in 2014. The original starter contained some slightly larger numbers:


1148 ÷ 7

1584 ÷ 18

1300 ÷ 25

21340 ÷ 388

Find the four quotients above then add your answers together. No calculators allowed!

Your access to the majority of the Transum resources continues to be free but you can help support the continued growth of the website by doing your Amazon shopping using the links on this page. Below is an Amazon search box and some items chosen and recommended by Transum Mathematics to get you started.

Have you read Craig's book yet?

Craig Barton must surely be the voice of Mathematics teachers in the UK. His wonderful podcasts interviewing the industry experts have culminated in this wonderful book. As Craig says: "I genuinely believe I have never taught mathematics better, and my students have never learned more. I just wish I had known all of this twelve years ago..." more...

"How I wish I’d taught maths' is an extraordinary and important book. Part guide to research, part memoir, part survival handbook, it’s a wonderfully accessible guide to the latest research on teaching mathematics, presented in a disarmingly honest and readable way. I know of no other book that presents as much usable research evidence on the dos and don’ts of mathematics teaching in such a clear and practical way. No matter how long you have been doing it, if you teach mathematics—from primary school to university—this book is for you." Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment, UCL.

The Craig Barton Book

Casio Classwiz Calculator

There is currently a lot of talk about this new calculator being the best in its price range for use in the Maths classroom. The new ClassWiz features a high-resolution display making it easier to view numerical formulas and symbols but it isn't a graphical calculator as such (it has the capacity to draw graphs on your smart phone or tablet, via a scannable QR code and an app).

As well as basic spreadsheet mode and an equation solving feature you also get the ability to solve quadratic, cubic or quartic polynomial inequalities and the answer is given just as it should be written down, using the correct inequality symbols!

This calculator has a high-performance processor and twice the memory of previous models ensuring speedy operation and superior computational power.more...

Online Maths Shop

Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers?
Do they have iPads or Laptops in Lessons?

Whether your students each have a TabletPC, a Surface or a Mac, this activity lends itself to eLearning (Engaged Learning).

Laptops In Lessons

Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.

Here is the URL which will take them to a pupil exercise on division.



The answer to the extension activity is 164 + 88 + 52 + 55 = 359


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