There are 16 sheep in a field as shown here:
1. How many sheep can say that there is at least one other sheep here of the same colour?
2. The farmer takes one sheep from the field at random. What is the probability it is
a) Yellow b) Blue c) Green d) Not red ?
[Give your answers as decimals to two decimal places]
Topics: Starter  Probability
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.
Click here to enter your comments.
If you don't have the time to provide feedback we'd really appreciate it if you could give this page a score! We are constantly improving and adding to these starters so it would be really helpful to know which ones are most useful. Simply click on a button below:
This starter has scored a mean of 3.1 out of 5 based on 403 votes.
Previous Day  This starter is for 19 May  Next Day
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.
Teacher, do your students have
access to computers? 

Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.
Here is the URL which will take them to a related student activity.
The wool on each of these sheep is of two different colours.
What is the probability of two sheep being picked at random sharing a wool colour?
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.
Texas Instruments Nspire CalculatorThis handheld device and companion software are designed to generate opportunities for classroom exploration and to promote greater understanding of core concepts in the mathematics and science classroom. TINspire technology has been developed through sound classroom research which shows that "linked multiple representation are crucial in development of conceptual understanding and it is feasible only through use of a technology such as TINspire, which provides simultaneous, dynamically linked representations of graphs, equations, data, and verbal explanations, such that a change in one representation is immediately reflected in the others. For the young people in your life it is a great investment. Bought as a gift for a special occasion but useful for many years to come as the young person turns into an Alevel candidate then works their way through university. more... 
Apple iPad ProThe analytics show that more and more people are accessing Transum Mathematics via an iPad as it is so portable and responsive. The iPad has so many other uses in addition to solving Transum's puzzles and challenges and it would make an excellent gift for anyone. The redesigned Retina display is as stunning to look at as it is to touch. It all comes with iOS, the world's most advanced mobile operating system. iPad Pro. Everything you want modern computing to be. more... Before giving an iPad as a Christmas gift you could add a link to iPad Maths to the home screen. 
Click the images above to see all the details of these items and to buy them online.
See the National Curriculum page for links to related online activities and resources.
How accurately could you estimate the number of sheep in a field without counting them? If there were only five sheep in the field your estimate would probably be very accurate but if there were fifty how close do you think your estimate might be? In the first case your estimate would have probably been perfect while in the second case you are unlikely to get it absolutely correct. What is the cut off number, between five and fifty where your estimate starts to become less accurate?
There is a sheep counting activity here on the Transum website. Try your skills and work to improve them. What strategies could you use?
Have you ever tried herding sheep? Not easy is it? The online herding sheep activity is much easier than real life herding and has proved to be a great introduction to loci.
Here is a sheepish mathematical birthday card which can be downloaded and printed.
Transum.org/Maths/Worksheet/?name=birthday_card
Finally, for the more advanced, there's a sheepthemed exam style question for you to try.
Transum.org/Maths/Exam/Question.asp?Q=289