One Out Of Ten

In silence read the following carefully before starting work:

1. Add 17 to 170.
2. Multiply 12 by 2.
3. Subtract the first even number from the second square number.
4. Divide a million by a thousand.
5. Write out the first 20 multiples of 5.
6. Multiply this year by last year without using a calculator.
7. If a square is also a rectangle write down your age squared.
8. If finding a fraction of a number makes it smaller work out a half squared.
9. If 2(x + 3) =6 + 2x  what is the value of x?
10. Write down all of the numbers which have 6 as a factor.

Now that you have read all of the questions do only question 1 then sit back with your arms folded and smile at your teacher.

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day

Topics: Starter | Fun

  • Transum,
  • The first of April is April Fools' Day. On this day it is customary to play practical jokes on people, causing them to believe something that isn’t true or to go on a fruitless errand. Tradition states that the jokes and pranks must end by midday.
  • Johnny Jackson, House
  • I was not fooled. If you guys were fooled, then you should read the questions CAREFULLY!
  • Year 9 maths student,
  • We did this in our maths class today it was so funny. This girl said really loudly "what's a million divided by a thousand?" and everyone was sitting there trying to work it out!
    The words "only question 1" caught my eye just as I was about to start and I was one of the first to figure it out!
    A great puzzle!
  • Mrs A Kennedy-Lewisiana, Oakington Manor
  • We were just looking around and i picked this activity starter. I tried this with my class(they're year 9 students)they all began to write the answers in silence(which was quite a surprise because my class are usually loud)-it took ages until they had finished answering the questions.After everyone had finished they sat there chattering. Then suddenly one boy in my class shouted look everyone read the bottom of the starter!
    Then everyone were very surprised and they all complained to me that why did i make them answer the questions!!
    I said to the students you should have read it!
    A few students told me they had read the part at the bottom but they did not want to say anything to the other students and ruin it.
    -This is a very funny starter and entertaining to watch the students to work it out.
  • Ms Vann, Dover
  • It was really funny watching the kids!! My green group (top group) realized that it only said do 1 Question- they just watched every one trying to work out the quetions carefully without a calculator!!
  • Rachael Baille & Kirsty McColm, Leswalt Primary School
  • We were too smart to be fooled by that.. our teacher gave us one of them last year and everyone was fooled!
  • Laura, Homechooled
  • I haven't been on here in a while and this was the 1st one I clicked on, what a good way to start the day!
  • Carolyn And Olivia, Cheadle Primary School
  • It was very funny to see everyone working out all the sums and staring at me and Carolyn and wondering why we weren't doing any work.
  • Mr Meftah, Colville
  • My pupils found this very interesting and said that it would help them get a high level 5.
  • Khira, Mearns Primary
  • I,m in p.6 and I was completely fooled.o.m.g what a great prank to start the day off.
  • Angel Johnson, Sacred Heart High Newcastle
  • So cool. Got up to number 5 and my sir asked everyone why they weren’t finished and read what the instructions said out loud and everyone began to laugh but the time was 1:30 so the kids weren’t fooled but sir was lol !
  • Claire, Holy Trintons Primary School
  • The class students found straight away where this sum was going to but I as a class teacher never realized!
  • Ibrahim, Byron Court Primary, Middlesex
  • Absolutely brilliant. I'm in year 6 but I wasn't fooled. Funnily enough only 1 other person realised. The teacher was astounded only 2 people got it. Eye tricking. LOL.
  • Imaan,
  • My friends all got fooled,even me but one of my friend did not fall for it.She was the only one in the entire class to not fall for it.
  • John Tom, International School
  • Very nice exercise! Most people got tricked - but I didn't - yay! happy April fools!
  • Raphael,
  • That's funny, I did it myself, but I didn't read the bottom. Happy April fools day.

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 1 April | Next Day



The answer is 187

Did you do questions 2 to 10 also?



Christmas Present Ideas

It is often very difficult choosing Christmas presents for family and friends but so here are some seasonal, mathematics-related gifts chosen and recommended by Transum Mathematics.

Equate board game

Here's a great board game that will give any family with school-aged kids hours of worthwhile fun. Christmas is a time for board games but this one will still be useful at any time of year. Games can be adapted to suit many levels of Mathematical ability.

For Maths tutors working with just one or small groups of pupils this game has proved to be an excellent activity for a tutorial. Deciding on the best moves can spark pertinent discussions about mathematical concepts.

Equate looks a bit like Scrabble--for aspiring mathematicians, that is. Designed by a real mathematician, it works like this: You put down tiles on a board and make points by correctly completing simple equations. Your nine tiles include both numbers and mathematical symbols; you can add on to previous plays both vertically and horizontally. more...

How Not To Be Wrong

The maths we learn in school can seem like an abstract set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In fact, Jordan Ellenberg shows us, maths touches on everything we do, and a little mathematical knowledge reveals the hidden structures that lie beneath the world's messy and chaotic surface. In How Not to be Wrong, Ellenberg explores the mathematician's method of analyzing life, from the everyday to the cosmic, showing us which numbers to defend, which ones to ignore, and when to change the equation entirely. Along the way, he explains calculus in a single page, describes Gödel's theorem using only one-syllable words, and reveals how early you actually need to get to the airport.

What more could the inquisitive adult want for Christmas? This book makes a cosy, interesting read in front of the fire on those cold winter evenings. more...

Graphic Display Calculator

This handheld device and companion software are designed to generate opportunities for classroom exploration and to promote greater understanding of core concepts in the mathematics and science classroom. TI-Nspire technology has been developed through sound classroom research which shows that "linked multiple representation are crucial in development of conceptual understanding and it is feasible only through use of a technology such as TI-Nspire, which provides simultaneous, dynamically linked representations of graphs, equations, data, and verbal explanations, such that a change in one representation is immediately reflected in the others.

For the young people in your life it is a great investment. Bought as a Christmas present but useful for many years to come as the young person turns into an A-level candidate then works their way through university. more...

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.

Aristotle's Number Puzzle

It’s a bit of a tradition to give puzzles as Christmas Gifts to nieces and nephews. This puzzle is ideal for the keen puzzle solver who would like a challenge that will continue over the festive period (at least!).

This number puzzle involves nineteen numbers arranged into a hexagon. The goal of the puzzle is to rearrange the numbers so each of the fifteen rows add up to 38. It comes in a wooden style with an antique, aged look.

Keep the Maths in Christmaths with this reasonably priced stocking filler. more...

The Story Of Maths [DVD]

The films in this ambitious series offer clear, accessible explanations of important mathematical ideas but are also packed with engaging anecdotes, fascinating biographical details, and pivotal episodes in the lives of the great mathematicians. Engaging, enlightening and entertaining, the series gives viewers new and often surprising insights into the central importance of mathematics, establishing this discipline to be one of humanity s greatest cultural achievements. This DVD contains all four programmes from the BBC series.

Marcus du Sautoy's wonderful programmes make a perfect Christmas gift more...

Christmas Maths

This book provides a wealth of fun activities with a Christmas theme. Each photocopiable worksheet is matched to the Numeracy Strategy and compatible with the Scottish 5-14 Guidelines. This series is designed for busy teachers in the late Autumn term who are desperate for materials that are relevant and interesting and that can be completed with minimun supervision.

All the activities are suitable for use by class teachers, supply teachers, SEN teachers and classroom assistants and cover topics such as 'How many partridges did the true love give all together?' and 'Filling a sleigh with presents by rolling a dice!'. Children will have lots of fun working through the Christmas Maths themes but also gain valuable skills along the way.

A great source of ideas and another reasonably priced stocking filler. more...

A Compendium Of 	Mathematical Methods

A Compendium Of Mathematical Methods

How many different methods do you know to solve simultaneous equations? To multiply decimals? To find the nth term of a sequence?

A Compendium of Mathematical Methods brings together over one hundred different approaches from classrooms all over the world, giving curious mathematicians the opportunity to explore fascinating methods that they've never before encountered.

If you teach mathematics to any age group in any country, you are guaranteed to learn lots of new things from this delightful book. It will deepen your subject knowledge and enhance your teaching, whatever your existing level of expertise. It will inspire you to explore new approaches with your pupils and provide valuable guidance on explanations and misconceptions. more...

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. more...

Click the images above to see all the details of these gift ideas and to buy them online.

Maths T-Shirts

Maths T-shirts on Amazon
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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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