The calculations are obscured by ink blots. What do you think the calculations would look like if there were no blots?

28 + 26 = 54

24 x 3.7 = 88.8

5.6 - 2.1 = 3.5

16.4 + 2.59 = 18.99

7.66 - 6.8 = 0.86

156 รท 6 = 26







Fountain Pen

Topics: Starter | Arithmetic

  • Mrs Anne Davies, Congleton High School
  • My Year 8s really enjoyed this today! although they kind of found it difficult as they are in the bottom set!!
  • Mrs Edge, The Derby High
  • I find it interesting that as the final calculation is completely covered by a blot that a more obvious solution is not given in the answers at the bottom. Seeing a solution like 36 or 35 my classes are more likely to choose a solution from times tables not a divide.

    [Transum: The answers below are possible answers but, depending on where the blots fall, there are probably many other possibilities. Perhaps pupils could be encouraged to come up with the most interesting or unusual calculation for the some of the questions.]
  • Willamore Class, Buckfastleigh Primary School
  • My year 6 class found this quite straight forward and not too challenging for a Thursday morning!

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 30 November | Next Day



Sign in to your Transum subscription account to see the answers

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 link. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases which helps pay for the upkeep of this website.

Educational Technology on Amazon


Online Maths Shop

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

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

Student Activity


©1997-2024 WWW.TRANSUM.ORG