Ron Gwairown always writes numbers down back to front. At school, he was once asked to do the following calculation:

14 x 82

In his exercise book Ron wrote down:

41 x 28

1. What answer did he get?

2. What answer should he have got?

3. Investigate other pairs of calculations of this type? What can you discover?

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day

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• LRH, MCS Brackley
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• I used this with a top set year 9. We collated our results after about 15 minutes and the students found an explanation using multiplication grids for a general rule linking all the pairs they found. A great success! More like this, please.
• Y6, Tickhill St Mary's
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• Question 3 gives away the answer to question 2!
• Mrs Rowe, Edenham High
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• I was warned that it was quite hard. Set for top year 8's lasted the majority of our first lesson of the year.
• KS3 Form Teacher, West Midlands
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• This starter was very good for engaging a multi-ethnic y7-9 form group - to a certain extent, the older, more knowledgeable kiddies were able to address the queries of the little ones! Can be very suitable for a class whose English is perhaps not the best. A nice way of revising long multiplication for those who need it and an interesting quirk of mathematics for those who don't. Easy 20-ish minutes of class-wide engagement.

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This starter has scored a mean of 3.3 out of 5 based on 230 votes.

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