Family Buses

Each bus can hold 11 passengers.

Bus Bus Bus

The Williamses

The Joneses

The Browns

The Davises

The Millers

The Wilsons

The Moores

Can you assign families to buses without having to split families up?

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day


Topics: Starter | Mental Methods | Problem Solving

  • Fiona Bray, Cams Hill School
  • This is an excellent website. We all often use the starters as the pupils come in the door and get settled as we take the register.
  • S Mirza, Park High School, Colne
  • Very good starters, help pupils settle very well in maths classroom.
  • 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.
  • Fr. Byrne, St Colum's
  • Great starter! Used it with a year 7 class, followed by a year 12 further maths class! Both classes loved it.
  • Mrs Keeling, Rugeley
  • I loved it the pupils got it straight away I want more of it !!! the pupils are yr 5 and 6 they got it !!!!
  • Mrs Manled, Webster High
  • This website is amazing! I put it on when the children come into maths for a little brain strecher! We loved the thai numbers!
    Thanks a lot.
  • Leanne Bartlett, Sawtry Community College
  • My year 7's enjoyed this and one of them even suggested we extend the activity to look at the proportion of boys and girls on each of the buses. This led to a great discussion of percentages and recurring decimals!
  • Miss Clarke's Group, Holton-Le-Clay Junior School
  • We really enjoyed this activity but it was a little bit challenging to start off with.
    It helped us realise that we needed to check our work through, especially when we made a mistake!
    We noticed that there needed to be an odd number on each bus. This made it easier when we tried another problem.
  • Neve & Dominika, Charnwood Primary Year 6
  • It was not too hard or too easy! Perfect level of challenge. It made you think carefully about the best way to solve the problem.
  • Bhavin, Southampton
  • Excellent starters. Kids have really enjoyed most of the starters.
    Thank you.
  • Emma, Oldham
  • These starters are excellent for my foundation level students, however I would love to see the answers/solutions here to me spending precious planning hours on figuring out the puzzle myself.

    [Transum: It is good to hear that the Starters are being used with your students. The answers to all of the Starters can be found lower down the page if you are signed in as a teacher.]

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:

Excellent, I would like to see more like this
Good, achieved the results I required
Didn't really capture the interest of the students
Not for me! I wouldn't use this type of activity.

This starter has scored a mean of 3.4 out of 5 based on 434 votes.

Previous Day | This starter is for 3 October | Next Day



Here's one solution. There may be many more!

Bus 1
The Williamses
The Browns
Bus 2
The Davises
The Wilsons
Bus 3
The Millers
The Joneses
The Moores

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.


Imagine you are the driver of a bus that begins its route with twelve passengers.

At the first stop one person gets off the bus and five people get on.

At the second stop two people get off the bus and seven people get on.

At the third stop nine people get off the bus and six people get on.

What is the name of the bus driver?

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 an interactive puzzle about a different form of transportation.

Student Activity


Extension Answer


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