Use The Digits

Use the digits ...

6 5 5 5 2

... to make 2917

You have five minutes to get as close to 2917 as possible using any mathematical operations you know but each digit only once.

A Great Way To Begin Your Mathematics Lesson


Topics: Starter | Arithmetic

  • The Best Maths Class (7cdM2), King Alfred's College, Oxfordshire.
  • Very,very good but clearer instructions would have been helpful. Can we have something more challenging please!
  • Christine Fraser, St Patrick's Catholic Primary School WELLINGTON TELFORD
  • Children initially would have liked more information. e.g. Could they use each number more than once.
    Children thought they had to use integers individually not combine to form HTU.
    Solved though!
  • Mike Litoris, Mianus, Nebraska
  • I was surprised to find that I had found it a different way.
    33 (16) + 8 = 536
    as well as, the one I used, (making a simple answer that much more difficult)
    (8^3) + 6 (1 + 3) = 536.
  • Red Table (Callum,Callum Nico Tremayne Shaun), Cheadle Primary School
  • It was very challenging and very very fun. It was easier because it was a team effort.
  • Adenike Onifade, London
  • I find this very good to teach life skills, I told my pupils that often in life our only limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves. The question did not say what you can or can not do, so get creative and do whaever you want to do: HTU by TU, repeat digits,double it, make up your rules. the differentiation is built in, If the whole class can get the answer the I would have imposed certain conditions to make it more difficult. Good idea, welldone.
  • Frances, Wales
  • The instructions could have been clearer. We weren't sure whether to use numbers more than once.
  • Netherlee Primary, Mrs Sweeney's Epic Maths Set
  • Clearer instructions would have been better. We were confused as to whether we could use the numbers more than once. We enjoyed the challenge though and one girl in the class managed to work it out. We did not use calculators.
  • 7O, Telford
  • Good exercise, but the instructions need to be clearer. In particular it should state that each digit can only be used once.

    [Transum: Thanks for the comments. The instructions now state that each digit can only be used once.]
  • Alan Brooke-feather, Wolverley High School Worcs
  • Clearer instructions please, otherwise a good starter my top set yr 7s enjojed it.
  • Sharon Wray, Geneva
  • A brilliant starter. We use this at least once a week and the children love it. Year 6 class Geneva. Thank you!
  • Steve Eastop, Margate, Kent, UK
  • My solution is:
    2^(8-1) x (2+1) which is equivalent to: 2^7 x 3 which is, in turn, equivalent to: 128 x 3 which = 384. This method uses all the numbers except the 6! The question doesn’t stipulate that you can’t use the numbers as powers/exponents/indices, etc….
  • Rosie Meynell, Kilgraston School
  • Kilgraston L4 (Rosie Meynell) achieved 2207 by:
    (3^(8-1))+(5x4)=2207. Yay!
  • Mr Mcmillan, Wicor Primary School
  • We got 930 after a painfull hour!!! but eventually we got it.
  • Primary 6, Blackridge Primary School
  • We thought it was fun and challenging. I took us a while to finish it. Lots of us tried to think outside the box.
  • Hafsa, Eastwod
  • I think this question is very challenging but that's what I like.It is a kind of question which you have to use your mathematical knowledge !!!!
  • Mr Norris And 8Q4, Birmingham
  • Queensbridge School got 2822.857 with a target of 2828.
    3^9 / 7 = 2811.857
    2811.57 + 11 = 2822.857.

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.
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This starter has scored a mean of 3.0 out of 5 based on 479 votes.

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What strategies did you use?

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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.

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Laptops In Lessons

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