Transum Maths Software

Mental Methods

There are 366 different Starters of The Day, many to choose from. You will find in the left column below some starters on the topic of Mental Methods. In the right column below are links to related online activities, videos and teacher resources.

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.

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Mental Methods Starters:

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.

Ancient Mysteries: This activity requires students to memorise fifteen numbers in a three by five grid.

Countdown: How close can you get to the target by making a calculation out of the five numbers given?

Division Quickulations: Random division calculations appear on screen every few seconds.

Eleventh of the Eleventh: Practise multiplying and dividing by eleven in your head.

Family Buses: Fit families onto eleven seater buses without splitting up the families.

Flabbergasted: 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?

Four Factors: Find four single digit numbers that multiply together to give 120. How many different ways are there of answering this question?

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

Fractions Decimals Percentages: Convert fractions to decimals, decimals to percentages and percentages to fractions.

Know Your Place: Without a calculator perform some calculations requiring a knowledge of place value.

Mental Test 9: A traditional twenty question mental arithmetic test presented as a PowerPoint presentation.

Mult Sum Diff Div: For each pair of numbers multiply the sum by the difference then divide the answer by 5.

Multiply Quickulations: Random multiplications appear on screen every few seconds.

Multiply, Add, Subtract and Divide: For each pair of numbers subtract the sum from the product then divide the result by 20 without a calculator.

No Partner: Find which numbers in a given list do not combine with other numbers on the list to make a given sum.

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

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

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

Quick: Develop a quick way of multiplying by 1001.

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

Strange Tables: A challenge to learn an unfamiliar times table involving decimals.

Subtract Quickulations: Calculations appear on the screen every 10 seconds.

Suko: Interactive number-based logic puzzle similar to those featuring in The Times and Telegraph newspapers.

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

Table Spiders: Multiply the number on the spider's back by the numbers next to its legs.

Take Sides: Put up your right hand or left hand depending on the expressions that appears.

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

Timed Tables: How fast can you answer 24 mixed times tables questions?

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

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

Tutu 5!: Which of the numbers from 1 to 20 can you make with the digits: 2, 3, 4 and 5?

 

Complete Index of Starters

Featured Activity

Vinculum

Vinculum

This activity comprises of five challenges each one requiring you to type in one more fraction than the previous challenge and each starting with a different fraction. The starting fractions are one tenth, one quarter, one third, one half and four sevenths.

 

Feedback:

Comment recorded on the 9 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Jones, Wales:

"I think that having a starter of the day helps improve maths in general. My pupils say they love them!!!"

Comment recorded on the 2 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Angela Lowry, :

"I think these are great! So useful and handy, the children love them.
Could we have some on angles too please?"

Comment recorded on the 23 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Judy, Chatsmore CHS:

"This triangle starter is excellent. I have used it with all of my ks3 and ks4 classes and they are all totally focused when counting the triangles."

Comment recorded on the 17 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Hall, Light Hall School, Solihull:

"Dear Transum,

I love you website I use it every maths lesson I have with every year group! I don't know were I would turn to with out you!"

Comment recorded on the 17 November 'Starter of the Day' page by Amy Thay, Coventry:

"Thank you so much for your wonderful site. I have so much material to use in class and inspire me to try something a little different more often. I am going to show my maths department your website and encourage them to use it too. How lovely that you have compiled such a great resource to help teachers and pupils.
Thanks again"

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by 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."

Comment recorded on the 18 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs. Peacock, Downe House School and Kennet School:

"My year 8's absolutely loved the "Separated Twins" starter. I set it as an optional piece of work for my year 11's over a weekend and one girl came up with 3 independant solutions."

Comment recorded on the i asp?ID_Top 'Starter of the Day' page by Jan, South Canterbury:

"Thank you for sharing such a great resource. I was about to try and get together a bank of starters but time is always required elsewhere, so thank you."

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"Find the starters wonderful; students enjoy them and often want to use the idea generated by the starter in other parts of the lesson. Keep up the good work"

Comment recorded on the 19 October 'Starter of the Day' page by E Pollard, Huddersfield:

"I used this with my bottom set in year 9. To engage them I used their name and favorite football team (or pop group) instead of the school name. For homework, I asked each student to find a definition for the key words they had been given (once they had fun trying to guess the answer) and they presented their findings to the rest of the class the following day. They felt really special because the key words came from their own personal information."

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"A set of real life savers!!
Keep it up and thank you!"

Comment recorded on the 12 July 'Starter of the Day' page by Miss J Key, Farlingaye High School, Suffolk:

"Thanks very much for this one. We developed it into a whole lesson and I borrowed some hats from the drama department to add to the fun!"

Comment recorded on the 16 March 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs A Milton, Ysgol Ardudwy:

"I have used your starters for 3 years now and would not have a lesson without one! Fantastic way to engage the pupils at the start of a lesson."

Comment recorded on the 10 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mike Sendrove, Salt Grammar School, UK.:

"A really useful set of resources - thanks. Is the collection available on CD? Are solutions available?"

Comment recorded on the 26 March 'Starter of the Day' page by Julie Reakes, The English College, Dubai:

"It's great to have a starter that's timed and focuses the attention of everyone fully. I told them in advance I would do 10 then record their percentages."

Comment recorded on the 2 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs Wilshaw, Dunsten Collage,Essex:

"This website was brilliant. My class and I really enjoy doing the activites."

Comment recorded on the 14 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Trish Bailey, Kingstone School:

"This is a great memory aid which could be used for formulae or key facts etc - in any subject area. The PICTURE is such an aid to remembering where each number or group of numbers is - my pupils love it!
Thanks"

Comment recorded on the 25 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Inger.kisby@herts and essex.herts.sch.uk, :

"We all love your starters. It is so good to have such a collection. We use them for all age groups and abilities. Have particularly enjoyed KIM's game, as we have not used that for Mathematics before. Keep up the good work and thank you very much
Best wishes from Inger Kisby"

Comment recorded on the 14 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Inger Kisby, Herts and Essex High School:

"Just a quick note to say that we use a lot of your starters. It is lovely to have so many different ideas to start a lesson with. Thank you very much and keep up the good work."

Comment recorded on the 6 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Natalie, London:

"I am thankful for providing such wonderful starters. They are of immence help and the students enjoy them very much. These starters have saved my time and have made my lessons enjoyable."

Notes:

Though using pencil and paper are as useful as having up-to-date technology skills, there is no substitute for strategic mental methods for working out calculations and solving problems. The activities in this topic are designed to improve pupils' abilities to use their brains.

Calculating 'in your head' can be a difficult task. If you cannot remember what you have worked out or simply do not know how to solve a problem then it can be very challenging and frustrating. It is important to learn and practise mental arithmetic and using mathematical patterns, you can dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of your mental mathematics.

See also the Arithmetic topic and our Number Skills Inventory.

Mental Methods Teacher Resources:

Flash Tables: A never ending sequence of times tables questions to be projected on to a whiteboard or screen.

Just In Time: Every 10 seconds a new calculation appears on the screen: A dynamic visual aid.

Percentages: Practise calculating simple percentages in your head with this animated visual aid.

Pesto: Students classify numbers randomly appearing on the screen by holding up cards

Playing Card Maths: Imagine you are on a desert island with nothing but a pack of playing cards. Do you have to stop learning mathematics?

Quickulations: A mental arithmetic visual aid that displays random calculations then after a few seconds displays the answers.

Mental Methods Activities:

Beat The Clock: It is a race against the clock to answer 30 mental arithmetic questions. There are nine levels to choose from.

Chain Challenge: How fast can you perform all of the given operations without using a calculator?

Digivide: Arrange the numbers from 1 to 6 in the spaces to make the division calculation correct.

Divisibility Test: Practise using the quick ways to spot whether a number is divisible by the digits 2 to 9.

Dump-A-Dice Race: An online board game for two players involving prime and square numbers and making choices.

Eleven In Your Head: Multiply numbers by eleven in your head.

Estimation Golf: Play a round of golf using your estimation skills rather than golf clubs.

Fast Factors: How quickly can you arrange the cards to match the times tables?

Know Your Place: Without a calculator perform some calculations requiring a knowledge of place value.

Make 1000: Use the numbers on the strange calculator to make a total of 1000

Masad: For each pair of numbers subtract the sum from the product then divide the result by 20 without a calculator.

Mixpressions: Arrange the cards to create a valid mathematical statement.

Nine Nine Nine: Use the digits 1 to 9 to make three 3 digit numbers which add up to 999.

Number Crunch Saga: A lively numeracy game requiring you to align three numbers to create the given target sum or product.

Number Skills Inventory: A checklist of basic numeracy techniques that every pupil should know.

Numskull: Interactive, randomly-generated, number-based logic puzzle designed to develop numeracy skills.

Pairs 240: Find the pairs of numbers that multiply together to give a product of 240

Pairs Eleven: Find pairs of playing cards of the same suit which add up to eleven.

Pairs Twenty One: Find the pairs of numbers that add up to 21.

Powten: Practise multiplying and dividing by powers of ten without using a calculator.

Quick: Can you multiply a number by 1001 in your head? This exercise provides practice in this and other similar challenges.

Stamp Sticking: Drag stamps onto the envelopes to make the exact postage as shown at the top left of each envelope.

Strategy Games: Strategy games that requires some mental arithmetic or some logic.

Sum Game: A game against the clock to find the numbers which add up to the target number.

TablesMaster: How fast can you answer times table questions? This activity provides feedback to help you improve.

Three Ways: Find three different ways of multiplying four different digits together to get the given target number. There are nine levels for this online challenge.

Mental Methods Videos:

Maths Fact Fluency: A four-step process for taking pupils on the path from acquisition to automaticity

Mental Maths Tricks: This video lesson shows you tips on how to multiply faster than ever!

Nine Times Fingers: Learn your 9 times table fast using your fingers!

Mental Methods External Links:

Links to other websites containing resources for Mental Methods are provided for teachers logged into 'Class Admin'. Subscribing to this service also opens up the opportunity for you to add your own links to this panel.

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Practise reading a clock face and making simple time calculations.. So far this activity has been accessed 79 times and 3 people have earned a Transum Trophy for completing it.

 

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