Tag Archives: mental oral starter

Daily Maths Work.

I’ve been using a daily maths sheet which I found here, in addition to our brilliant in-house Minute Maths resource recently. I loved it as it reinforced so many aspects of maths which needed a steady drip feed before they became confident and embedded.

I decided that some of the parts of the sheet were still required this term, but I also wanted to add some aspects of maths which we still needed practice with. So, I made up my own sheet and adapted it to the needs of my class. In line with my last post, I’m offering it for free from here as a PDF, or e-mail me for the adaptable publisher doc. I’ll also put it on Pinterest.


Low-tech mental oral starter 2

Another popular low-tech starter is a version of the memory game ‘I went shopping.’ In the maths version children take it in turns to say

‘I went shopping with £x.xx and I bought something (let the children choose, it adds to the fun) that cost £x.xx, what change should I get.’

This activity lends itself to circle time maths and pretty much to any age groups which have worked with money. Older children could add the ideas of a % discount or price rises too. The children will really enjoy making up problems to extend their friends maths skills!

Low-tech mental oral starter!

Just a quick post. I got reminded listening to my partner’s daughter this evening that the most interesting and effective things in teaching can also be the simplest.

Her maths teacher uses a variation of the ’11’ game to practice counting down, through hundred barriers.  To play you would stand up all the class and begin with a random child and a number near a hundreds barrier (214 for example). Each child subtracts either 1,2 or3 numbers from 214 until some child says 197. The child who says 197 sits down and are out. So a sample game might go,








197 OUT!

You play until only one person is left in.

You can also use an extension to this game. That is for the winning player’s table to get a reward of house points etc. The children then have to use a planning strategy to try to keep their table’s members in.

I’ll be giving it a go with my maths class tomorrow!

Using tutpup in my classroom.

I was introduced to Tutpup through Year Six Teacher’s Blog in this article. It is an online mental maths and spelling game in which the children play against children around the world, in realtime. It is also free.

To begin, the teacher needs to sign up first as… a teacher. Once this is done you can create classes for your pupils to use. I currently have two classes, one for my class and one for my maths class. You set a class code for each of your classes and the children need this when they sign up. It would be possible for one teacher login to run many of the classes in a school but I wouldn’t recommend this. Each teacher would be better creating a teacher login as they then have access to the data on how their children are progressing, and can move their children onto the games which will develop their pupils skills appropriately. Once the teacher has logged in and created a class or classes the children are ready to be introduced to the program.

The children create their own login using this simple interface. They choose a colour, animal and then a number and that is their playername. They then need to create their own password – on a side issue password creation, remembering and retrieval is a skill that our children need so much now for their lives inside and outside of education, do we discuss this enough with them? – and the enter the class login that the teacher creates in their login process.

You may find that some of the colour and animal combinations have gone (i.e. they do not have any numbers left), but the children in my class really supported each other in this. As soon as one child had found a colour and animal that had numbers, they told the class who then went to that combination and created their login.


‘Tis the season…

We’ve only got three more teaching days to go until we break up for Christmas, so we’re beginning to ease up a little. I enjoy finding puzzles and quizzes for my class to do in the run up to an end of term, so I’ve got a few websites with quizzes on to share today.

http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/braint.htm has lots of quizzes, puzzles and paradoxes on it (although some have a U.S. bias as the site is from the States.)

http://www.internet4classrooms.com/brain_teasers.htm has links to many other puzzle and brainteaser pages on it.

http://www.brainbashers.com/ has hundreds of puzzles (including new ones daily) on it. There are many visual puzzles on this site.

http://brainden.com/ is another site with interesting puzzles on it.

And finally for now http://www.sporcle.com/ is very enjoyable as a whole class activity at the end of the day.The quizzes on this site are list quizzes (e.g. name all the countries of Europe in 5 minutes). The children may not get to the end of the puzzle but they are very ‘open’ quizzes for everyone to play their part in. This site is based in the US and members submit quizzes (sadly a few are of an inappropriate nature for the classroom) so it is IMPERATIVE  that you find the quiz (or quizzes) you want on the site and put those quizzes onto the whiteboard for use in the class, rather than browse the quizzes with your class watching you! – Take a look and see for yourself what I mean.

Hope you find some of these links useful.

Maths starters

A site I find really useful, with a range of activities my class really enjoy is Maths Starter of the Day. As the title suggests there is a maths starter for each day of the week and Saturday and Sunday. These weekend ones mean that you can choose a different one if the one for a particular day doesn’t suit your class. The activites are also categorized and sortable so that you can choose a few to match up to a particular maths topic.

The link is http://www.transum.org/Software/SW/Starter_of_the_day/index.htm