A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day


Try many different starting numbers in the flowchart above.
Which starting numbers reach one the fastest?


Topics: Starter | Arithmetic | Investigations | Number

  • Kerry Grindle, Litherland High School
  • On the Starter of the Day for October 13th, if you follow the flow chart exactly then the number 1 should never have been written down at the end.
  • Graham Ingram, Furness School
  • Excellent 10 GI love it
  • Mr Fawer, Class 6
  • My class loved it.
  • Borris, Ilkeston
  • The lowest power of 2 that is also bigger than 5 is 8, which is the answer.
  • Mr M's Year 8s, Canggu Community School
  • This gave Aria a headache, but everyone else loved it! Thanks :).
  • Year 6, Bryanston Square CE
  • We struggled with this and failed to understand how so many numbers were generated. Is this higher level maths?
  • David, Illinois
  • The end of the flowchart should go to the second bubble, "write it down," not the first.
    This is an employment of the Collatz Conjecture http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collatz_conjecture, basically, any number (save for a few) should eventually end at 1.

    [Transum: Thanks David for sharing the link to the Collatz Conjecture information. Regarding the flow chart, it is meant to show returning to the second bubble.]
  • Class 5, Lady Royd PS
  • We found it easy and loved it.
  • XD,
  • You should have never have said over 5. You should have said 5 to a limit because kids start choosing numbers like 1,000,000 and then it's too hard so they give up.

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 3.1 out of 5 based on 241 votes.

Previous Day | This starter is for 13 October | Next Day



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.


Rubiks Cube Puzzle

Apple iPad Pro

The analytics show that more and more people are accessing Transum Mathematics via an iPad as it is so portable and responsive. The iPad has so many other uses in addition to solving Transum's puzzles and challenges and it would make an excellent gift for anyone.

The redesigned Retina display is as stunning to look at as it is to touch. It all comes with iOS, the world's most advanced mobile operating system. iPad Pro. Everything you want modern computing to be. more...

Before giving an iPad as a Christmas gift you could add a link to iPad Maths to the home screen.

Math with Bad Drawings

I had been tutoring the wonderful Betsy for five years. When the day came for our last ever session together before the end of her Year 13, I received this beautiful book as a gift of appreciation.

This a very readable book by Ben Orlin. I'm really enjoying the humour in the writing and the drawings are great.

Ben Orlin answers maths' three big questions: Why do I need to learn this? When am I ever going to use it? Why is it so hard? The answers come in various forms-cartoons, drawings, jokes, and the stories and insights of an empathetic teacher who believes that mathematics should belong to everyone.

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.


Student Activity

Here is the URL which will take them to some more flowchart usage practice.


Student Activity

Here is the URL for the latest flowchart investigation.


Student Activity



©1997-2019 WWW.TRANSUM.ORG