Summer Holidays

A Mathematics Lesson
Starter Of The Day

There are some children and donkeys on a beach.

Girl with ball Donkey

Together they have 38 heads and 108 feet.

How many donkeys?

How many children?


Topics: Starter | Algebra | Simultaneous Equations

  • Fiona Sutherland, Stirling
  • For some of the days, the answers would be useful. Is this possible?
  • Transum,
  • Dear Fiona,
    Most of the starters have the answers at the bottom of the page. Scroll down and you'll find the answers for today's starter for those who have a Transum subscription.
  • Mr Conway, Trent Valley Academy
  • My year 9 class did this in less than 1 minute.
  • Dr L,
  • Our record was 19 seconds! Adam Threadgold!
  • Transum,
  • It is worth mentioning that refreshing this page changes the numbers in the text of today's starter. It's really worth students tackling a second version of the problem so that they can put into practice methods and strategies shared after discussing the answer to the initial problem. There are more activities on the Transum website on the topic of Simultaneous Equations.

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.

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Excellent, I would like to see more like this
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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 3.1 out of 5 based on 150 votes.

Previous Day | This starter is for 23 August | Next Day



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.

Your access to the majority of the Transum resources continues to be free but you can help support the continued growth of the website by doing your Amazon shopping using the links on this page. Below is an Amazon search box and some items chosen and recommended by Transum Mathematics to get you started.

Graphic Display Calculator

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iPad Air

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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 self marking activity on simultaneous equations.

Student Activity



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