# 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.

Next the children are shown a grid of 16 other numbers. They must now work with a partner, using any operation they like, to make the target number in as many different ways as possible.

After a specific time (say, three minutes) you ask them to stop nad place their mini-whiteboard down.

Now, the children share their calculations and strategies with the rest of the class.

If you wish, you could develop the activity further by adding a scoring system, such as:

1 point for each time they have correctly made the target number

2 points if they have been able to use all four operations

4 points for using fractions, powers or roots

Here's the mathstick twist...

... a visually appealing grid of numbers using a selection of 'real life' numbers. This is a high quality jpg image download, large enough to display on an IWB.

Here's a closer look at part of the grid.

It is a series of 'polaroid' type photographs of real numbers in a  mixture of fonts, colours and styles.

[It's a .jpg download so best to save it by right-clicking and choosing "Save image as..."]

As always, we would look forward to hearing what you think of this in the comments, and would naturally appreciate your likes, tweets and Pluses if you enjoy it!

## Comment viewing options

### This is a great activity for

This is a great activity for a mixed age class, all my class can access it.  Looking forward to trying it out.
0 users have voted.

### I love this idea - and the

I love this idea - and the pictures make it visually appealing! Than
0 users have voted.

### I am just planning next weeks

I am just planning next weeks work - will use it in plenaries for teaching inverse - my class are crazy about using camera so maybe this will jig them toward maths and numbers too.
0 users have voted.
PrimaryMum

### Good thinking. If you get

Good thinking. If you get chance drop back to let me know how this worked out for you.

John

0 users have voted.

### The board makes it a much

The board makes it a much more interesting prospect rather than just showing the target number. Thanks
1 user has voted.

### Really like the look of this

Really like the look of this starter. Simple but great way to challenge children to use all number operations.  Looking forward to using it!
1 user has voted.

### I love this! I am already a

I love this! I am already a big fan of target boards and agree with others, much more interesting to look at! I like the idea that all children are actively working against each other therefore setting their own individual challenges. Think I will do this as a paired activity to start off with.
2 users have voted.

### A very visual stimulus much

A very visual stimulus much better than the normal number grid.  Thanks
1 user has voted.

### I really like this simple yet

I really like this simple yet effective challenge. I will be using this in September possibly as a challenge on my maths board so that the children can submit their answers during the week and I can announce who has scored the most points on a Friday (perhaps for a maths medal).
1 user has voted.

### Yay, I like the idea of a

Yay, I like the idea of a running weekly challenge with the presentation of a Maths Champions Medal as a celebration of the children's skill and enjoyment.

Thank you so much for sharing your idea.

1 user has voted.

### This visual is a joy, so

This visual is a joy, so many children expect to see numbers in a standard font. It has inspired me to look for other resources that are equally visually appealing
1 user has voted.

### Thanks very much for the

Thanks very much for the great feedback.

1 user has voted.

### Great resource...my class

Great resource...my class looked for other numbers in the environment to photograph and use as a resource
3 users have voted.

### That's good to hear. Thank

That's good to hear. Thank you for the feedback. Always appreciate knowing that the maths lesson ideas and teaching resources here are working well.
1 user has voted.