Shadow Sums

Make 3 sums from the numbers given.

Drag the numbers onto the shadows to make 3 sums.






















A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day


Topics: Starter | Arithmetic | Place Value | Problem Solving

  • 10y4, Dagenham
  • We found this quite easy but the class enjoyed it.
  • 7O, Lord Lawson
  • We found this very hard!
  • Mrs O'Hagan's Firs yr class, Holyrood Sec School Glasgow
  • We found this starter quite hard..and as we were given it for homework we were disappointed that as it was still the same day, the numbers were changed
  • Mr Shaw, Beaulieu Convent Jersey Year 9
  • We found this easier if we worked in teams. It took us 10 minutes to find our first answer.
  • KGo, AHHC
  • My Year 10s enjoyed this and thought more of these would be great.
  • 7f1, John Port School
  • We enjoyed this task very much. It was challenging sorting out the problem but fun!
  • Mr. G, Beacon Community College, Crowborough
  • A very good activity to encourage creative thinking. The first student to find a sum (Brandon Lawrence) did it after 5 trials and within 10 minutes on his own. Most of the students were happy to do this activity.
  • Lizzie Lucas, Holcombe Brook Y5
  • I think that there should be more of this on the website because it is good fun,me and my mum found it very easy with a little help from dad.
  • Miss Hope, Castle Rushen High School
  • We found this a bit of a challenge after starting off with different numbers making one of the totals. We got there in the end, after we took Robert's recommendation (We are in y13, age 17 :) ).
  • Jack And Mrs Williams, 9PJH
  • Very difficult but we cracked it! fun challenge.
  • Jay, Ramsden Hall School
  • Its okay but we found it confusing.
  • Senan, Barnes Primary Year 6
  • I really liked this problem. it took me about 3 minutes and I found it quite fun. I would like more of this sort of thing.
  • P6/7s, Craiglockhart Primary, Edinburgh
  • Our P6/7's (10/11 year olds) did this as a warm up to our Maths lesson. First solution found in 5 minutes.We found it fairly challenging but really got us thinking! We all enjoyed it.
  • St Mark's School,
  • Challenging but fun. My Year 5 class managed to complete this in 8 minutes. Team work helps!

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 3.1 out of 5 based on 422 votes.

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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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Have you read Craig's book yet?

Craig Barton must surely be the voice of Mathematics teachers in the UK. His wonderful podcasts interviewing the industry experts have culminated in this wonderful book. As Craig says: "I genuinely believe I have never taught mathematics better, and my students have never learned more. I just wish I had known all of this twelve years ago..." more...

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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...

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

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Here is the URL which will take them to a related student activity.

Student Activity



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