Cunning Code

Decode the message then think about it!

A = 203 x 17B = 137 + 451C = 409 + 154D = 46 + 418
E = 434 + 550F = 876 - 507G = 486 x 87H = 273 + 12
I = 454 - 61J = 188 + 232K = 580 + 532L = 292 x 51
M = 208 - 163N = 544 + 75O = 517 + 607P = 253 x 368
Q = 172 x 239R = 427 + 293S = 214 x 202T = 453 - 170
464393563984 1124720 464393984

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day

Topics: Starter | Arithmetic

  • 7abm2, King Alfred's College, Oxfordshire UK
  • We enjoyed the starter and we got the correct answer we thought that it was very easy! :).
  • Cobham Intermediate, R22 Maths
  • Too easy, need more of a challenge,
    Rate 2.

    [Transum: Thanks for your comments. Buttons have been added below to give you the option of larger numbers.]
  • Elen Catherine, Ysgol Pen Y Bryn
  • I love Maths and Starter of the day.
  • Maths Is Fun Set, United Kingdom
  • It was a bit challenging, but we got there in the end. We really enjoyed it. It was a good challenge for testing our mental maths. Thank you.

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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Note to teacher: Each time this page is refreshed the calculations are randomly generated but the message to decode remains the same. There are however ten different messages which can be found by clicking one of the buttons below. The calculations include larger numbers the higher the level.

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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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



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