# Calculation

## Math-Magic Instant Addition

Just for our mathsticks+ members, this is a truly baffling piece of mathematical magic. We've explored Magical Maths before, but the trickery here makes it possible for you to demonstrate a wonderful mathematical gift.

Imagine hearing this:

3769 + 7972 + 4386 + 8257

...and instantly knowing the answer.

## George's Mathematical Medicine

At times it can be difficult to give children the chance to work at their own pace on mathematical activities. If the activity isn't pitched at the right level, or if it isn't engaging, the pace can fall and learning will be affected.

This is a common problem, which the majority of our mathsticks resources aims to solve. However, when we road tested this latest maths resource we were in for a shock. Read more »

## Hindu Gods Top Trumps

Here's a very versatile idea from Jason Darley.

The set of 12 Top Trump cards all feature Hindu Gods. The cards have numerical ratings for each of the Gods abilities - Power, Beauty, Avatars... etc.

They can be used in any normal Top Trump style game. Read more »

## Multiplying Up

How do you keep mental mathematics interesting? ...How do you engage children in 'estimating'? ...How do you make calculator work meaningful?

These are all vital questions, and finding appropriate solutions can become increasingly difficult the further into Key Stage 2 you teach! Read more »

## Bingo Bonds to 50

Here's a fun reverse bingo game... I call it 'reverse' because the Bingo Boards the children use all feature written subtraction problems, such as ‘50 – 32’ or ‘50 – 19’. Read more »

## Target Number

This is a straightforward number game for 2-4 players. You need 4 sets of 0-9 digit cards, a sand timer (or stopwatch) and individual whiteboards (or notepaper). Read more »

## Think of a Number!

There are hundreds of versions of "Think of a Number..." tricks. This one is perfect for Friday 13th. When I used it some years ago, the children wanted to know how it was done, not just to satisfy their curiosity, but so they could share it with their families. The wanted to enjoy using the 'secret'. So there's motivation in the magic.

Of course, simply telling how a number trick works is fine for some children, but for most it is the problem solving opportunities that are important. Read more »

## Pairs to 100 (and 1)

This resource consists of 100 cards grouped into pairs of numbers which sum to 100.

Print and cut out some or all of the cards - you may, for example, only choose to use specific pairs of numbers:

10-90, 20-80, 30-70... or
9-91, 19-81, 29-71... or
1-99, 11-89, 21-79... for example
Read more »

## Pirate Products

Many thanks to those mathsticks members who responded to our survey about new maths resources.

We had a number of requests for more games focusing on the related maths concepts of multiplication, factors, products and division. Here's our first new resource for that area. Read more »

## Mathsticks Makes 10

Here is another set of cards designed to offer children lots of practice with number bonds to 10. The downloadable pack includes a set of 24 0-10 digit cards for use in 'Find the Pairs' games.

The file also includes a complete set of 'dotty-number' cards and instructions too.

## Calculation Taboo

Here's a wonderful adaptation of the mathsticks Shape Taboo game. Mary K., one of our mathsticks members created this for her Year 2 class. So, as she says, the calculation words were designed with "KS1 in mind as they form part of a scheme of work about vocabulary I have just done. Read more »

## Decimal Diamonds

We are looking for your help with this maths activity.

Here is a problem solving puzzle in the form of a Diamond-shaped grid of squares, each square houses a number and the four sides of the Diamond should sum to the same 'magic' total.

The challenge is for the children to use their calculation and problem solving skills to complete the Diamonds by filling in the missing numbers.

## Doubles & Near Doubles Snap

A simple, versatile maths resource that has proven to be both popular and useful.

Here are 32 cards featuring the numbers 3 to 10 together with images depicting doubles or near doubles. These can be used as flash cards, labels or 'stations' on a washing line. However, they were originally designed to be used in Snap games.  Read more »

## Christmas Party Planning

It's Party Time!

Here's a party planning booklet that was originally devised by a student teacher. The children suddenly find they are the host of a Christmas party. They have to plan a Christmas event by selecting food, table crackers, entertainment and a party location from a range of options. The party has to suit a particular number of people and fit within a specific budget. Read more »

## Rocket Race Dice Game

Just when you thought it was safe to put the dice back in the tin we are back with yet another Dice Game. In fact, this one just missed out on being included in our Dice Games eBook - but the children who tested it out for us really enjoyed it so we decided to post it in any case. Read more »

## Number Bonds Bingo

Here's a simple Reverse Bingo Bonds Game. Read more »

## Number Logic MiniBooks

Here we have taken the Addition puzzles from Mental Monday's #19 and turned them into a series of mini booklets. This makes them ideal for children to work through at their own pace (perfect for the end of term), they could also be used as 'registration activities', or as a homework project. Read more »

## Mental Mondays #19

This week we offer a PowerPoint presentation that takes you through nine separate mental challenges. Each slide is based on a puzzle that involves connecting a series of numbers so that the total is always the same.

The puzzles are based on a pattern of lines and circles. Like this:

## Mental Mondays #18

This is a straightforward mental and oral maths idea to encourage the children to use and apply their calculation skills. We've given it a small Mathsticks twist by utilising a unique visual resource, but more about that later.

Here's what happens.

A two digit random number is generated either by rolling two dice or selecting digit cards. This is the target number, and it is displayed on the board. Read more »

## Mental Mondays #17

I always loved the idea of using the Magic Square concept with children since it offers so many opportunities to get to grips with problem solving. However, it always seemed to me that Magic Squares on their own lacked a sense of purpose; if they were set into a historical context, then that seemed fine - but purely as maths puzzles, they only ever seemed to interest a small number of children. Read more »

## Mental Mondays #16

Here’s another versatile calculation-based Mental and Oral starter.

We are looking at number problems with multiple operations. For example, you display the following number sentence, or equation (since it is a mixed calculation there is no logical way we can call it a "sum").

## Dice Game - Cover the Windows

This is a simple, fun dice game for two players. The focus is on reinforcing calculation skills and looking for combinations of numbers that create specific totals.

The game uses a windows board which is based on a photograph of a real building, the resource could be used as part of a topic on buildings or homes. Or the idea can be transferred to large-scale use in the playground using chalk or card numbers. Read more »

## Boxes

This is a unique twist on an old pencil and paper game. The focus is on addition, subtraction and multiplication, as well as adding a little strategic thinking and problem solving.

The children work in pairs on a 'dotty' sheet, playing a version of boxes... they take it in turns to join two horizontally or vertically adjacent dots by a line. Read more »

## Coin Bingo - Calculation

Here's a further development of our earlier Coin Recognition, Coin Bingo game. Like that earlier resource, this can be used as a simple sorting and matching activity. However, it was designed to be used as a bingo game involving calculation. Read more »

## Mental Mondays #12

This mental and oral starter is a quick way to display a range of calculations.

Like our other mental and oral starter ideas this is easy to adapt to suit the needs and abilities of a range of children.

The idea here consists of a coloured number grid and a series of questions. We have attached a PowerPoint file with a selection of grids.

You display one such gird, like this: Read more »

## Addition and Subtraction - Eggs in the Nest

Here's a quirky little game idea with an Easter/Egg theme.

The focus is on addition and subtraction of small numbers, and the activities are perfect for early Key Stage 1 children. Read more »

## Mental Mondays #10

This is Mental and Oral starter gives children plenty of opportunities to work with a specific 'times table'.

However the focus is on using a range of strategies to solve mathematical problems. It's also quite fun!

You start off by showing the children times table. However, most of the numbers are replaced by letters.

Here's an example using the 9 Times Table: Read more »

## Number Triples - Addition and Subtraction

This little number hunt activity could be used as a paired-starter, or as a game.

The focus is on finding trios of numbers which can be used to create addition and/or subtraction sentences.

For example, 4, 6, 10 are triples since they can be used as the basis for the following simple calculations:
Read more »

## Circle Bonds

Maths teaching can be a little predictable at times. The idea here is to offer a different way of visualising addition problems and number bond sequences to 10. Read more »

## Make 50

A number of members asked for more 'Make It' resources, especially for higher numbers.

We created these for addition to 50, tested them out and found that they were a hit. Take a look at them and see what you, and your children think. Read more »

## Multiples Game

This is another of our clean-and-simple, fun maths games. It is a 'three in a row' type game with a tight focus on practicing/using multiplication facts.

The game board features a grid of 25 numbers, children work in pairs using different colours of counters and a set of digit cards (2 to 9). They take it in turns to reveal a card, and then put a counter on any multiple of that number on the board. Read more »

## Neighbours

Here's another deceptively simple maths game which delivers a powerful 'learning' punch. We first used this one at the end of last year and it was very popular! Read more »

## Christmas Cross-Numbers

Just time for one more fun resource. Four cross-numbers with clues that enable children to practice their mathematical skills (calculation), knowledge (number properties) and their reasoning and organisational skills.

## Calculator Activity - 2

This is a follow-up to our popular Calculator Activity-1.

While that original resource focused exclusively on Addition, this one helps children develop their understanding (and accuracy) when reading written numbers and calculating with both addition and subtraction.

## Take Away

This is a fun, two-player game focusing on subtraction.

The unique maths game uses counters and a dice and is ideal for practicing number-bonds to 10.

The Take Away board consists of 16 numbered squares in a grid. The game-play is quite simple so the focus remains on the maths. Read more »

## Number Journey

This is a great way to get children discussing the mental strategies they use when calculating.

The idea is that the children have to follow a series of instructions to arrive at an unknown number. The image on the left shows a chain of number operations. The starting point is 2, to which 4 is added (making 6), this is then multiplied by 2 (giving 12), divided by 6 (making 2) then, finally, 1 is added (to end with 3). Read more »

## Magic Numbers!

This is a quick way to demonstrate some ‘mathemagical’ powers – it also serves a useful purpose in that it will give children an entertaining opportunity to make use of investigative/problem solving skills.

You show the children a set of ‘raffle tickets’ each of which features a small identification number and a main four-digit ‘raffle’ number. Ask a child to pick a ticket at random, to show it to the rest of the class and to tell you only the small identification number. Read more »

## Collectors Bingo

Here's another 'why didn't I think of that' moment - a stunning place-value and calculation activity (well, we think it's fairly stunning). I had nearly forgotten about it until we started looking through some old work files in the garage. Read more »

## Make 15

This is an obvious development of our Make 10 and Make 20 activities.

The downloadable pdf file contains three 10 by 10 grids of numbers. The children have the challenge of finding a line of three numbers that total 15. Each board features 14 or 16 such lines of numbers.

If the sheets are laminated the children can be encouraged to work together with white-board pens to find as many as they can. Read more »

## Calco-Route - Calculator Game

This is a straightforward number chasing game for two children using a calculator. The game give children plenty of practice using a calculator and encourages them to solve multiplication and division problems mentally. Read more »

## Target Number Machine

To play the game, the boards should be cut out and laminated. Children then write on them with a whiteboard pen. The players also need a set of 0-9 digit cards between them. Read more »

## Desktop Number Lines - V2

This is an alternative version of our original Desktop Number Line. The download includes two 1-10, and one 1-20 number lines, each less than 30cm long; ideal for cutting out and laminating for use on a desk.

As before, each number line features mathstick characters; with the first version here, however, coloured blocks are used to reinforce the pattern of odd and even numbers. Read more »

## On The Roll of the Dice

In this simple mathematical trick you are able to tell the children the value of two secretly rolled dice. This works well with a group of children, but could also work well with the whole class.

Here's how it goes: Read more »

## Serial Adding - Spot the Bonds

Another number bonds resource; but this one is a perfect starter activity.

The activity gives children plenty of practice at looking for bonds to 10 hidden in a series of numbers... Why? To aid their calculation skills.

For example, when adding 6 + 2 + 4 it is a useful strategy to mentally gather together the digits that add to 10: Read more »

## Tug of War with a Difference

This simple maths game started out as a number line activity.

Basically, it gives children the opportunities to practice calculating differences between small numbers. It's ideal for Reception or Y1, but the basic concept can also be adjusted to suit older children.

Children work in pairs with one gameboard, a set of dominoes and one counter between them. Read more »

## Magic 13

I used to find that mathematical magic tricks inspired my children... they wanted to know "How is it done?"; they wanted to show their family and they wanted to share in the glory of knowing a 'secret'. So there's motivation in the magic.

Of course, simply telling how a simple number trick works would be okay for some children, but for most it's the problem solving opportunities that are important. Read more »

## Make 10

This maths resource is directly related to the Make 20 number grids.

The pdf download here features a series of 8 by 8 girds of numbers. The numbers have been chosen to offer the children plenty of opportunities to practice number bonds of 10. If the sheets are laminated, the children can work together to find pairs of numbers which total 10. Each board contains 14 or more such pairs. No numbers are used twice, and the pairs only run horizontally and vertically. Read more »

## Make 20

This is a 'Word Search' inspired activity.

Each card features a 10 by 10 grid of numbers. The children have the challenge of finding a line of four numbers that total 20. Each board features 12 or 14 such strings of numbers.

If the cards are laminated the children can be encouraged to work together with white-board pens to find as many as they can. Read more »

## Total Control Bingo

This maths game is designed to assist children in developing confidence with number calculations. It consists of a set of 15 bingo cards for the children, and question sheets for the adult. The children work in pairs to mark off, or cover up, numbers on their cards which answer specific maths problems called out.  Read more »

## Calculation Strings

We feel quietly confident that you are going to love this one!

This activity started off as a bingo-type mathematics game, but when we started playing around with it we saw a whole new world of possibilities. The focus is on giving children plenty of varied opportunities to develop their understanding of the order of operations in calculations. Read more »

## Christmas MathDoku

This resource only just missed our Christmas Activities eBook.

It is a MathDoku, or KenKen type puzzle. We've simplified the more traditional version so that it only includes addition. Read more »

## Number Scramble

This is a great activity to encourage children to think about (and create) number rules. The focus is on practising calculations and identifying number patters.

Ask the children to work in pairs, give each child one of the Scrambled Number* sheets. Read more »

## 5 Digit Window Frames

A number of you have asked for a refinement to our ever-popular random number generator, the 2 Digit Window Frame resource. Some wanted smaller digits (the physical size of the font), while others wanted more options to work with larger numbers (more than 2 digits).

Firstly, thank you for the suggestions; and here's our new Window Frame resource. Read more »

## Christmas Tree Race

Here's a Christmas themed game to support children's development of calculation.

Using the downloadable* board, a counter each and three dice, children take turns to create a calculation with the dice which will enable them to 'climb' the tree. Read more »

## Christmas Costs

Here is the first of several new Christmas themed mathsticks resources.

Christmas Costs is a worksheet resource  which offers children a problem solving starter. The focus is on calculating the 'imaginary' cost of a number of Christmas items. Read more »

## Calculator Activity - 1

This calculator activity is an extension of one which was published as part of the National Numeracy Strategy in 1999. It has a dual focus; the first one (as you might expect) is to involve the children in accurately using a calculator. The second is to engage the children in reading numerical vocabulary. Read more »

## Extending Ladders

This is an extension (literally) to the popular Place Value Ladder Boards.

The original boards only went to 6 spaces, and a number of you have asked for more!

Well, I have now stretched the place value ladder boards to 10 places, and offer three rather than two ladders. Read more »

## Cover Up, an Addition Game

This speedy, two-player addition game is designed to help reinforce number bonds to 10 or 20. You will need the downloadable* board and two sets of counters. Read more »

## Add Up, a quick addition game

A simple maths game to encourage children to practice (and to share) quick addition strategies. This is suitable for 3 or more players

You need four sets of 1-10 cards. (See our Digit Cards) Read more »

## Top Trumps – Multiplication and Addition Game

This fun game uses 'Top Trumps' style cards to enable children to practice addition and multiplication strategies while reinforcing correct mathematical vocabulary.

There are 36 cards; each featuring an image of a mathstick figure and two mathematical statements.

The first statment on each card is an addition and the other a multiplication. Read more »

## Domino Addition, a Collecting Game

This maths game gives young children the opportunity to practice and refine their addition skills, using totals up to 12.

The game will suit two to four children and works particularly well with mixed ability groupings. The children playing the game have a standard set of dominoes. Read more »

## Share Circle - 1 more than

This is a twist on the traditional ‘Follow Me’ style cards… you know the ones: each child has a card with a number and a maths question; one child asks the question and everyone looks at their cards to see who has the appropriate answer, then the chain continues around the classroom. Read more »

## 3 Digit Squashy Boxes

If you are playing a mathematical game, or looking to create numbers for calculation problems, the original Squashy Boxes provided an efficient solution. However, they were limited to one and two-digit numbers. Read more »

## Dotty Number Cards

Children who are just getting to grips with counting can still play counting games using 'dotty' numbers instead of digits.

This mathematical resource is a set of 0-9 counting cards featuring faces to represent the number.This is similar to Simple Arrays, but that resource was related to multiplication rather than counting. Read more »

## Squashy Boxes

Here's another versatile (and often overlooked) resource. Squashy Boxes enable children to quickly generate 'random' numbers. They are a simple but effective tool for practising a range of rapid recall and mental calculation strategies. Read more »

## Desktop Number Lines

The title says it all. Two 1-10, and one 1-20 number lines, each less than 30cm long; ideal for cutting out and laminating for use on a desk.

Each number line features alternating mathstick characters to reinforce the pattern of odd and even numbers. Read more »

## 2 Digit Window Frame

This idea started life as a way to get children to generate 'random' 2 Digit numbers. We had used dice, we had used Digit Cards, but I wanted something different.

This is what I came up with, a 10 by 10 grid of numbers and small card with a rectangular hole in it. Read more »

## High Number

This is a Place Value game for two children. It offers children an opportunity to use and apply their knowledge of the number system within a 'game' environment.

You need the Tens and Units playing board and a set of 0 to 9 number cards.

The aim of the game is to get as close to 100 as possible by creating three two-digit numbers. Read more »

## Number Balance

Number Balances offer a visual way to help children explore simple calulations.

Children can place digit cards on the Balance Board, ensuring that the total on each side is the same. Using this simple yet versatile resource children can practise their number bonds and counting skills. Read more »

## Place Value Ladders

Teachers can use Ladder Cards with their children as individual mathematical activities, or as a game format. In its simplest form children choose digit cards and place them on the ladder so that the numbers ascend in value for each rung.

mathsticks makes this versatile idea even more appealing by including our signature characters and digit cards designed to match the ladder-spaces. Read more »