Missing Terms

A Maths Starter Of The Day

Find the missing terms from these sequences:

1,   2,   3,   4,  __   12,  __  __  24,  __
7,  __  13,  __  19   2,  __  __  __  94
6,  __  24,  __  __   -9,  __  __  30,  __
3,  __  __  18,  __   0,  __  __  -33,  __
13,  __  __  67,  __   9,  __  __  -168,  __
Looking for the missing terms


Topics: Starter | Number | Puzzles | Sequences

  • Primary 7, Bargeddie Primary School, North Lanarkshire
  • We were all really impressed by Thomas who managed to get them all right really quickly!
  • Transum,
  • After the students have had time to work out many of the answer the following questions could be asked of the whole class:
    What is the next term of the first sequence and how did you find it?
    What is the first term of the first sequence? ... The common difference? ... The 10th term? The 100th term? The nth term?
    For the second sequence in the first column how did you work out the first missing number? Is there another way you could have done it?
    For the first sequence in the second column. How did you work out the first missing number? Is there another way you could have done it?
    What do all of the sequences have in common?
  • Mrs Devlin, Clydeview Academy
  • We were very impressed with our genius' Luke and Jack. We got them all. Woohoo!
  • Jm,
  • Find the missing terms in the following numbers sequences
    1.) 5,6,8,_15,
    2.) 18,20,24_,38,_
    3.) 25,28,34,_,_,70
    4.) 55,54,51,46,_,_,19
    5.) 82 81 78 _ ,66,_.
  • Michael, Bolton School
  • This was helpful.
  • Louisa, .
  • I did this with my daughter as she is no longer in school and we managed to get them all. this is a good activity for anyone.

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This starter has scored a mean of 3.0 out of 5 based on 677 votes.

Previous Day | This starter is for 16 April | Next Day


1, 2, 3, 4, 5   12, 16, 20, 24, 28
7, 10, 13, 16, 19   2, 25, 48, 71, 94
6, 15, 24, 33, 42   -9, 4, 17, 30, 43
3, 8, 13, 18, 23   0, -11, -22, -33, -44
13, 31, 49, 67, 85   9, -50, -109, -168, -227

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.


What would the nth term of each of these sequences be?


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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

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Student Activity


Extension Answers

n   4n + 8
3n + 4   23n - 21
9n - 3   13n - 22
5n - 2   -11n + 11
18n - 5   -59n + 68


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