Transum Mathematics wishes you all the best for the season and hopes you have a very happy 2025.

Carol has many people coming for Christmas dinner. She is wondering which table will be best to use.

Christmas Tables Christmas Table Christmas Table


Which has the largest area, the red or the green?

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day

Topics: Starter | Area | Geometry | Mensuration | Shape | Xmas

You can find many more ChristMaths activities at:


  • Transum At Christmas,
  • Transum would like to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and we look forward to welcoming you back to use these starters in the new year. Have a great holiday and enjoy the festivities.
  • Renee, Georgia
  • My third graders have worked on area and perimeter time and again, but they still get them confused. I used my digital projector to show the problem and they worked in cooperative groups to solve it. Each person had a role: recorder, reporter, runner (allowed to move away from the group to get whatever they needed to solve the problem), and reasoner (had to double check the group's solution for mathematical reasoning). One of the groups determined that the area for the tables was the same after their runner measured the length and width of the tables. The others groups were not convinced until they saw the red tabletop flip onto the green. Since similar problems that we've solved were trying to seat more guests (perimeter), your problem gave us the opportunity to discuss the need for a larger table (area) to put more food out at once. As you can see, I still have my work cut out for me, but the problem provided a great learning opportunity for my students.
  • Muktadir Rahman, Longshaw Primary Class 14 Year 6
  • I like coming to this web. It’s a great starter of Christmas morn.
    A NEW YEAR .
  • Year 6 Maths St John's School, Year 6
  • Year 6 Maths have had fun doing the starters of the day.
    We are looking forward to some exciting ones in 2016.
    Thank you and a very merry Christmas.

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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More Mathematical Optical illusions

Student Activity

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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

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

Student Activity


This starter was inspired by a Betty Edwards drawing


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