Ms Tayke

Eighteen again?

Happy Birthday Ms Tayke!

Ms Tayke

Ms Tayke does not want anyone to know how old she is. We think she is 548 but she often subtracts 18 from her age to make her feel younger.
How many times can you subtract 18 from 548?

Time left four minutes.

No calculators allowed.


Topics: Starter | Arithmetic

  • 9AM, Southam College
  • You can only subtract the initial number once, because after that you are subtract that number from a different number.
  • Transum,
  • Well done 9AM, Southam College! Good answer. There are more smart answers to this question lower down this page. The countdown clock above is a distractor, it leads the pupils to think that they are being asked to do a time consuming activity whereas the most efficient strategy would be to a mathematical operation not mentioned in the question at all.

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 239 votes.

Previous Day | This starter is for 18 May | Next Day



Pupil 1: "I subtracted 18 from 548 three hundred times ... but I got the answer 530 every time!"

Teacher: "That's correct, but everyone else in the class will have divided 548 by 18 and given the whole number part of the answer which is 30"

Pupil 2: "I think the answer is infinite as you can subtract 18 as many times as you like as long as you understand negative numbers!"

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 related student activity.



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...


©1997-2017 WWW.TRANSUM.ORG