There are some children and donkeys on a beach.

Together they have 23 heads and 68 feet.

How many donkeys? How many children?

Summer Holidays

A Mathematics Lesson
Starter Of The Day

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.

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



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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

Teacher, do your students have access to computers such as tablets, iPads or Laptops?  This page was really designed for projection on a whiteboard but if you really want the students to have access to it here is a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments:

However it would be better to assign one of the student interactive activities below.

Laptops In Lessons

The following activity called Unbeknownst also generates situations best solved using simultaneous equations. There are a number of different levels of difficulty and each level can be regenerated to produce a different puzzle. The link is here:

Student Activity


Curriculum Reference

See the National Curriculum page for links to related online activities and resources.


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