There are 366 different Starters of The Day, many to choose from. You will find in the left column below some starters on the topic of Mental Methods. In the right column below are links to related online activities, videos and teacher resources.

A lesson starter does not have to be on the same topic as the main part of the lesson or the topic of the previous lesson. It is often very useful to revise or explore other concepts by using a starter based on a totally different area of Mathematics.

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### Mental Methods Starters:

A Thousand and One: Develop a quick way of mentally multiplying any number by 1001.

Abundant Buses: A game based around the concept of factors and abundant numbers.

Add Quickulations: Calculations appear on the screen every few seconds. This mental arithmetic starter provides pace to the start of the Maths lesson.

Ancient Mysteries: This activity requires students to memorise fifteen numbers in a three by five grid.

Countdown: How close can you get to the target by making a calculation from the five numbers given?

Division Quickulations: Random division calculations appear on screen every few seconds.

Eleventh of the Eleventh: Practise multiplying and dividing by eleven in your head.

Family Buses: Fit families onto eleven seater buses without splitting up the families.

Flabbergasted: If each number in a sequence must be a factor or multiple of the previous number what is the longest sequence that can be made from the given numbers?

Four Factors: Find four single digit numbers that multiply together to give 120. How many different ways are there of answering this question?

Four to Seven: Which of the numbers from one to twenty can you make with the digits 4, 5, 6 and 7?

Fractions Decimals Percentages: Convert fractions to decimals, decimals to percentages and percentages to fractions.

Get A Wiggle On: A mixture of calculations to get your brain working at the start of a mathematics lesson.

Know Your Place: Without a calculator perform some calculations requiring a knowledge of place value.

Mental Maths Quiz: A traditional twenty question mental arithmetic test presented as a PowerPoint presentation.

Mult Sum Diff Div: For each pair of numbers multiply the sum by the difference then divide the answer by 5.

Multiply Quickulations: Random multiplications appear on screen every few seconds.

Multiply, Add, Subtract and Divide: For each pair of numbers subtract the sum from the product then divide the result by 20 without a calculator.

No Partner: Find which numbers in a given list do not combine with other numbers on the list to make a given sum.

Outnumbered: Which group of four numbers, arranged in a square, has the largest total?

PercenTable: Complete the table by calculating common percentages without using a calculator.

Positions Please: Stand at the point between the classroom walls to represent a given number.

Refreshing Revision: It is called Refreshing Revision because every time you refresh the page you get different revision questions.

Six Discrimination: An activity involving a calculator which is missing the six button. Can you evaluate the given expressions without using the six?

Strange Tables: A challenge to learn an unfamiliar times table involving decimals.

Subtract Quickulations: Calculations appear on the screen every few seconds.

Suko: Interactive number-based logic puzzle similar to those featuring in The Times and Telegraph newspapers.

Sum Equals Product: What are the numbers if their sum equals their product?

Table Legs: Learn an unusual times table from the strategic finger moving up and down the 'Table Leg'!

Table Spiders: Multiply the number on the spider's back by the numbers next to its legs.

Take Sides: Put up your right hand or left hand depending on the expressions that appears.

Team Age: Work out who is in which team from the information given.

Three Wise Gifts: Find as many sets of three of the available numbers as possible which add up to the given total.

Timed Tables: How fast can you answer 24 mixed times tables questions?

Triple Totals: Complete the sums using only the given numbers then check your calculations are correct.

Triplets: Find as many sets of three of the available numbers as possible which add up to the given total.

Weather Report: Find five different integers that multiply together to give a product of twelve.

#### Times Tables

Transum.org/go/?to=tables

### Curriculum for Mental Methods:

#### Year 5

Pupils should be taught to count forwards or backwards in steps of powers of 10 for any given number up to 1 000 000 more...

Pupils should be taught to add and subtract numbers mentally with increasingly large numbers more...

Pupils should be taught to multiply and divide numbers mentally drawing upon known facts more...

Pupils should be taught to multiply and divide whole numbers and those involving decimals by 10, 100 and 1000 more...

#### Year 6

Pupils should be taught to perform mental calculations, including with mixed operations and large numbers more...

Pupils should be taught to identify the value of each digit in numbers given to three decimal places and multiply and divide numbers by 10, 100 and 1000 giving answers up to three decimal places more...

Pupils should be taught to solve problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division more...

Pupils should be taught to use estimation to check answers to calculations and determine, in the context of a problem, an appropriate degree of accuracy. more...

### Feedback:

Comment recorded on the 10 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mike Sendrove, Salt Grammar School, UK.:

"A really useful set of resources - thanks. Is the collection available on CD? Are solutions available?"

Comment recorded on the 28 May 'Starter of the Day' page by L Smith, Colwyn Bay:

"An absolutely brilliant resource. Only recently been discovered but is used daily with all my classes. It is particularly useful when things can be saved for further use. Thank you!"

Comment recorded on the 14 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Inger Kisby, Herts and Essex High School:

"Just a quick note to say that we use a lot of your starters. It is lovely to have so many different ideas to start a lesson with. Thank you very much and keep up the good work."

Comment recorded on the 25 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Inger.kisby@herts and essex.herts.sch.uk, :

"We all love your starters. It is so good to have such a collection. We use them for all age groups and abilities. Have particularly enjoyed KIM's game, as we have not used that for Mathematics before. Keep up the good work and thank you very much
Best wishes from Inger Kisby"

Comment recorded on the 7 December 'Starter of the Day' page by Cathryn Aldridge, Pells Primary:

"I use Starter of the Day as a registration and warm-up activity for my Year 6 class. The range of questioning provided is excellent as are some of the images.
I rate this site as a 5!"

Comment recorded on the 21 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Trainor And His P7 Class(All Girls), Mercy Primary School, Belfast:

"My Primary 7 class in Mercy Primary school, Belfast, look forward to your mental maths starters every morning. The variety of material is interesting and exciting and always engages the teacher and pupils. Keep them coming please."

Comment recorded on the 19 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Nikki Jordan, Braunton School, Devon:

"Excellent. Thank you very much for a fabulous set of starters. I use the 'weekenders' if the daily ones are not quite what I want. Brilliant and much appreciated."

Comment recorded on the 5 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Stoner, St George's College of Technology:

"This resource has made a great deal of difference to the standard of starters for all of our lessons. Thank you for being so creative and imaginative."

Comment recorded on the 28 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Malcolm P, Dorset:

"A set of real life savers!!
Keep it up and thank you!"

Comment recorded on the 9 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Liz, Kuwait:

"I would like to thank you for the excellent resources which I used every day. My students would often turn up early to tackle the starter of the day as there were stamps for the first 5 finishers. We also had a lot of fun with the fun maths. All in all your resources provoked discussion and the students had a lot of fun."

Comment recorded on the 17 November 'Starter of the Day' page by Amy Thay, Coventry:

"Thank you so much for your wonderful site. I have so much material to use in class and inspire me to try something a little different more often. I am going to show my maths department your website and encourage them to use it too. How lovely that you have compiled such a great resource to help teachers and pupils.
Thanks again"

Comment recorded on the i asp?ID_Top 'Starter of the Day' page by Ros, Belize:

"A really awesome website! Teachers and students are learning in such a fun way! Keep it up..."

Comment recorded on the 2 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs Wilshaw, Dunsten Collage,Essex:

"This website was brilliant. My class and I really enjoy doing the activites."

Comment recorded on the 14 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Trish Bailey, Kingstone School:

"This is a great memory aid which could be used for formulae or key facts etc - in any subject area. The PICTURE is such an aid to remembering where each number or group of numbers is - my pupils love it!
Thanks"

Comment recorded on the 23 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Judy, Chatsmore CHS:

"This triangle starter is excellent. I have used it with all of my ks3 and ks4 classes and they are all totally focused when counting the triangles."

Comment recorded on the 19 October 'Starter of the Day' page by E Pollard, Huddersfield:

"I used this with my bottom set in year 9. To engage them I used their name and favorite football team (or pop group) instead of the school name. For homework, I asked each student to find a definition for the key words they had been given (once they had fun trying to guess the answer) and they presented their findings to the rest of the class the following day. They felt really special because the key words came from their own personal information."

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs Johnstone, 7Je:

"I think this is a brilliant website as all the students enjoy doing the puzzles and it is a brilliant way to start a lesson."

Comment recorded on the 1 February 'Starter of the Day' page by Terry Shaw, Beaulieu Convent School:

"Really good site. Lots of good ideas for starters. Use it most of the time in KS3."

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Fiona Bray, Cams Hill School:

"This is an excellent website. We all often use the starters as the pupils come in the door and get settled as we take the register."

Comment recorded on the 10 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Carol, Sheffield PArk Academy:

"3 NQTs in the department, I'm new subject leader in this new academy - Starters R Great!! Lovely resource for stimulating learning and getting eveyone off to a good start. Thank you!!"

Comment recorded on the 16 March 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs A Milton, Ysgol Ardudwy:

"I have used your starters for 3 years now and would not have a lesson without one! Fantastic way to engage the pupils at the start of a lesson."

Comment recorded on the 1 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Phil Anthony, Head of Maths, Stourport High School:

"What a brilliant website. We have just started to use the 'starter-of-the-day' in our yr9 lessons to try them out before we change from a high school to a secondary school in September. This is one of the best resources on-line we have found. The kids and staff love it. Well done an thank you very much for making my maths lessons more interesting and fun."

Comment recorded on the s /Coordinate 'Starter of the Day' page by Greg, Wales:

"Excellent resource, I use it all of the time! The only problem is that there is too much good stuff here!!"

Comment recorded on the 9 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Jan, South Canterbury:

"Thank you for sharing such a great resource. I was about to try and get together a bank of starters but time is always required elsewhere, so thank you."

Comment recorded on the 6 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Natalie, London:

"I am thankful for providing such wonderful starters. They are of immence help and the students enjoy them very much. These starters have saved my time and have made my lessons enjoyable."

Comment recorded on the 11 January 'Starter of the Day' page by S Johnson, The King John School:

"We recently had an afternoon on accelerated learning.This linked really well and prompted a discussion about learning styles and short term memory."

Comment recorded on the 12 July 'Starter of the Day' page by Miss J Key, Farlingaye High School, Suffolk:

"Thanks very much for this one. We developed it into a whole lesson and I borrowed some hats from the drama department to add to the fun!"

Comment recorded on the 1 August 'Starter of the Day' page by Peter Wright, St Joseph's College:

"Love using the Starter of the Day activities to get the students into Maths mode at the beginning of a lesson. Lots of interesting discussions and questions have arisen out of the activities.
Thanks for such a great resource!"

Comment recorded on the 24 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Ruth Seward, Hagley Park Sports College:

"Find the starters wonderful; students enjoy them and often want to use the idea generated by the starter in other parts of the lesson. Keep up the good work"

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by S Mirza, Park High School, Colne:

"Very good starters, help pupils settle very well in maths classroom."

### Notes:

Though using pencil and paper are as useful as having up-to-date technology skills, there is no substitute for strategic mental methods for working out calculations and solving problems. The activities in this topic are designed to improve pupils' abilities to use their brains.

Calculating 'in your head' can be a difficult task. If you cannot remember what you have worked out or simply do not know how to solve a problem then it can be very challenging and frustrating. It is important to learn and practise mental arithmetic and using mathematical patterns, you can dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of your mental mathematics.

### Mental Methods Teacher Resources:

Visualise Percentages: If you can picture in your mind what a percentage looks like you may be better able to preform mental calculations.

Just In Time: Every 10 seconds a new calculation appears on the screen: A dynamic visual aid.

Flash Tables: A never ending sequence of times tables questions to be projected on to a whiteboard or screen.

Quick Percentages: Practise calculating simple percentages in your head with this animated visual aid.

Quickulations: A mental arithmetic visual aid that displays random calculations then after a few seconds displays the answers.

Playing Card Maths: Imagine you are on a desert island with nothing but a pack of playing cards. Do you have to stop learning mathematics?

Pesto: Students classify numbers randomly appearing on the screen by holding up cards

### Mental Methods Activities:

Times Tables: A collection of activities to help you learn your times tables in only 5 days.

Fast Factors: Match the numbers with the answer to the times table. A timed activity to improve instant recall of key table facts.

Mental Strategies: Practise your mental arithmetic skills and learn some new strategies with this self marking exercise.

Number Crunch Saga: A lively numeracy game requiring you to align three numbers to create the given target sum or product.

23 or Bust: A game involving mental arithmetic and strategy for two players or one player against the computer.

Pairs Twenty One: Find the pairs of numbers that add up to 21 in this collection of matching games.

Pairs Eleven: Find pairs of playing cards of the same suit which add up to eleven.

Quotientmaster: A fast-paced activity to help you practise a Times Table by developing an ability to quickly recall quotients.

Brainbox: A puzzle requiring the arrangement of numbers on the function machines to link the given input numbers to the correct output.

Sum to One: Find pairs of numbers that add up to one.

Chain Challenge: How fast can you perform all of the given operations without using a calculator?

Beat The Clock: It is a race against the clock to answer 30 mental arithmetic questions. There are nine levels to choose from.

Divides Exactly: Find which divisions result in whole number quotients. A mental arithmetic speed challenge.

Convoluted: Find the runs of four multiples in order as quickly as you can.

Furthermore: A self-marking exercise on counting forwards or backwards in tens, hundreds, thousands etc.

Grid Arithmetic: Fill in a multiplication grid with the answers to simple multiplication and division questions.

Know Your Place: Without a calculator perform some calculations requiring a knowledge of place value.

Make 1000: Use the numbers on the strange calculator to make a total of 1000

Triside Totals: Arrange the digits 1 to 9 on the triangle so that the sum of the numbers along each side is equal to the given total.

Pick The Primes: Pick the prime fruit from the tree as quickly as possible. Practise to improve your personal best time.

Pairs 240: Find the pairs of numbers that multiply together to give a product of 240 in this collection of matching games.

Masad: For each pair of numbers subtract the sum from the product then divide the result by 20 without a calculator.

Mixpressions: Arrange the cards to create a valid mathematical statement.

Nine Nine Nine: Use the digits 1 to 9 to make three 3 digit numbers which add up to 999.

No Partner: Find which numbers in a given list do not combine with other numbers on the list to make a given sum.

Dump-A-Dice Race: An online board game for two players involving prime and square numbers and making choices.

Numbasics: A daily workout strengthening your ability to do the basic mathematical operations efficiently.

Number Skills Inventory: A checklist of basic numeracy techniques that every pupil should know.

Divisibility Test: Practise using the quick ways to spot whether a number is divisible by the digits two to nine.

Numskull: Interactive, randomly-generated, number-based logic puzzle designed to develop numeracy skills.

One Minute Maths: A challenge to mentally add numbers together without making the classic place value mistakes.

Latin Square Puzzles: Arrange the given digits to make a Latin square with the given row and column calculation results.

Powten: Practise multiplying and dividing by powers of ten without using a calculator.

Quick: Can you multiply a number by 1001 in your head? This exercise provides practice in this and other similar challenges.

Six Discrimination: The six button has dropped off! How could these calculations be done using this calculator?

Stamp Sticking: Drag stamps onto the envelopes to make the exact postage as shown at the top left of each envelope.

Bidmaze: Find your way through the maze encountering mathematical operations in the correct order to achieve the given total.

Sum Game: A game against the clock to find the numbers which add up to the target number.

Expedite: Drag the numbered cards to produce a multiplication fact. Complete twenty mixed times tables questions to earn a trophy.

TablesMaster: How fast can you answer times table questions? This activity provides feedback to help you improve.

Hard Times: The hardest multiplication facts (according to Transum research) are presented in the form of pairs games.

Digital Darts: An online darts game for one or two players requiring skill, strategy and mental arithmetic.

Triplets: Find as many sets of three of the available numbers as possible which add up to the given total.

Tug of War: A game for two players or teams testing their speedy reactions to mental arithmetic questions.

Perfect Magic Square: Arrange the sixteen numbers on the four by four grid so that groups of four numbers in a pattern add up to the same total.

Estimation Golf: Play a round of golf using your estimation skills rather than golf clubs.

Zygo: Interactive, randomly-generated, number-based logic puzzle designed to develop numeracy skills.

Three Ways: Find three different ways of multiplying four different digits together to get the given target number. There are nine levels for this online challenge.

Digivide: Arrange the numbers from 1 to 6 in the spaces to make the division calculation correct.

### Mental Methods Videos:

Times Tables in 10 minutes: Jill Mansergh uses a number stick to teach the 17 times table in less than ten minutes.

Nine Times Fingers: Learn your 9 times table fast using your fingers!

Maths Fact Fluency: A four-step process for taking pupils on the path from acquisition to automaticity

Memorise the Multiplication Table: A quick overview of methods for learning all one hundred multiplication facts from 1x1 to 10x10.

Mental Maths Tricks: This video lesson shows you tips on how to multiply faster than ever!

Can't Add Up!: This simple Maths problem often baffles even really smart people. Can you solve it?

Square Tricks: Math Tricks for Fast Calculation - How to square numbers between 10 and 20 without memorisation.

### Mental Methods Worksheets/Printables:

Fast Factors Board: A printable page to be used with the Fast Factors Activity.

Game Board for 23 or Bust: A printable game board for 23 or Bust. Choose your own object to serve as the lifesaver such as a pencil sharpener, a rubber or a coin.

Strategy for 23 or Bust: A printable worksheet containing a table to be filled in with the best moves for the game 23 or Bust.

Missing Operations Worksheet: Each box represents a missing operation (add, subtract, multiply or divide). Can you work out what they are?

Links to other websites containing resources for Mental Methods are provided for those logged into 'Transum Mathematics'. Subscribing also opens up the opportunity for you to add your own links to this panel. You can sign up using one of the buttons below:

### Search

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### Other

Is there anything you would have a regular use for that we don't feature here? Please let us know.

#### Digivide

Arrange the numbers from 1 to 6 in the spaces to make the division calculation correct.

Transum.org/go/?to=digivide

### Teaching Notes:

Many Transum activities have notes for teachers suggesting teaching methods and highlighting common misconceptions. There are also solutions to puzzles, exercises and activities available on the web pages when you are signed in to your Transum subscription account. If you do not yet have an account and you are a teacher, tutor or parent you can apply for one by completing the form on the Sign Up page.

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