Birthday Clues

When Was Will Born?


A prime number has two and only two factors.

Consecutive numbers are next to each other in the sequence of counting numbers


Thirty days hath September,
April June and November.
All the rest have thirty-one
Excepting February alone,
Which has twenty-eight days clear,
But twenty-nine each Leap Year.


The number 22222 is given in base 5. It means:

2 x 625 +
2 x 125 +
2 x 25 +
2 x 5 +
2 x 1


The day is a two digit prime number. The two digits are consecutive numbers.


The number of days in the month is a multiple of the number of letters in the month's name.


The year was a leap year which began on a Saturday.
It is 222225 + 2.

How old would he be if he was alive today?


Topics: Starter | Mixed | Number | Time

  • EK, Dorset
  • Wonderful! I have top set year 5 and they found it fun. Interesting to see how much they knew about Shakespeare too!
  • Mr Heeley's y7, Rawthorpe High, Huddersfield
  • Gosh, he would be even older than Mr Heeley!
    'So shaken as we are, so wan with care, for find we a time for frightened peace to pant, and breathe short-winded accents of new broils, to be echoed in lands afar remote' Opening line to Henry IV part 1.
    See, Maths teachers can be quite literate too!!!

    Have a lovely summer Transum xx
  • Carole, 6A Cragieburn PS Australia
  • My Grade 6 Class really enjoyed working out this problem. We worked out that Will would be 448 years old if he was still alive today! Mrs Pyne and 6A.
  • Class 1.6, Brechin High, Scotland
  • We definitely needed the clue for the year. However, it was very challenging and worthwhile! Thank you. Class 1.6.

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 3.2 out of 5 based on 119 votes.

Previous Day | This starter is for 14 July | Next Day



Christmas Present Ideas

It is often very difficult choosing Christmas presents for family and friends but so here are some seasonal, mathematics-related gifts chosen and recommended by Transum Mathematics.

Equate board game

Here's a great board game that will give any family with school-aged kids hours of worthwhile fun. Christmas is a time for board games but this one will still be useful at any time of year. Games can be adapted to suit many levels of Mathematical ability.

For Maths tutors working with just one or small groups of pupils this game has proved to be an excellent activity for a tutorial. Deciding on the best moves can spark pertinent discussions about mathematical concepts.

Equate looks a bit like Scrabble--for aspiring mathematicians, that is. Designed by a real mathematician, it works like this: You put down tiles on a board and make points by correctly completing simple equations. Your nine tiles include both numbers and mathematical symbols; you can add on to previous plays both vertically and horizontally. more...

How Not To Be Wrong

The maths we learn in school can seem like an abstract set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In fact, Jordan Ellenberg shows us, maths touches on everything we do, and a little mathematical knowledge reveals the hidden structures that lie beneath the world's messy and chaotic surface. In How Not to be Wrong, Ellenberg explores the mathematician's method of analyzing life, from the everyday to the cosmic, showing us which numbers to defend, which ones to ignore, and when to change the equation entirely. Along the way, he explains calculus in a single page, describes Gödel's theorem using only one-syllable words, and reveals how early you actually need to get to the airport.

What more could the inquisitive adult want for Christmas? This book makes a cosy, interesting read in front of the fire on those cold winter evenings. more...

Graphic Display Calculator

This 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. TI-Nspire 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 TI-Nspire, 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 Christmas present but useful for many years to come as the young person turns into an A-level candidate then works their way through university. more...

iPad Air

The 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 Christmas gift for anyone.

You have to hold iPad Air to believe it. It’s just 7.5 millimeters thin and weighs just one pound. The stunning Retina display sits inside thinner bezels, so all you see is your content. And an incredible amount of power lies inside the sleek enclosure. So you can do so much more. With so much less. more...

Before giving an iPad as a Christmas gift you could add a link to iPad Maths to the home screen.

Aristotle's Number Puzzle

It’s a bit of a tradition to give puzzles as Christmas Gifts to nieces and nephews. This puzzle is ideal for the keen puzzle solver who would like a challenge that will continue over the festive period (at least!).

This number puzzle involves nineteen numbers arranged into a hexagon. The goal of the puzzle is to rearrange the numbers so each of the fifteen rows add up to 38. It comes in a wooden style with an antique, aged look.

Keep the Maths in Christmaths with this reasonably priced stocking filler. more...

The Story Of Maths [DVD]

The films in this ambitious series offer clear, accessible explanations of important mathematical ideas but are also packed with engaging anecdotes, fascinating biographical details, and pivotal episodes in the lives of the great mathematicians. Engaging, enlightening and entertaining, the series gives viewers new and often surprising insights into the central importance of mathematics, establishing this discipline to be one of humanity s greatest cultural achievements. This DVD contains all four programmes from the BBC series.

Marcus du Sautoy's wonderful programmes make a perfect Christmas gift more...

Click the images above to see all the details of these gift ideas and to buy them online.

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 general knowledge maths quiz.

Student Activity


July 14th is Transum's birthday!


The Same Birthday

It would be fun for everyone in the class to stand in a line in order of their birthdays. Does anyone have the same birthday as someone else?

Alice in Wonderland learns that in a class of 23 pupils the probability that two have the same birthday is more than a half. Alice is a fictional character created by author and mathemetician Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) but the probability fact is true.

Find more interesting facts like that on the Mathematics Trivia page.

Birthday Card

Birthday Card

And finally there is a birthday card for all of our loyal Transum subscribers.

The front of the card contains a mathematical joke about rounding up. There is a puzzle, Maths facts and some funny puns inside. All good fun for a person's special day.

The card is designed to be printed on A4 card (double sided) and can be downloaded here.


©1997-2017 WWW.TRANSUM.ORG