# KS2

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:

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 »**

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 »**

Here’s another versatile calculation-based **Mental and Or****al 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").

**Here are 4 Olympic Games-themed mathematics activities.**

The resource consists of four problem solving activities. The problems are presented as A4 'cards' and can be used as-is with specific children, or easily adapted to suit other groups or even the whole class. The material is designed to appeal to Key Stage 2 children.

The four activities are: **Read more »**

**This Mental & Oral starter is based on an idea from John Taylor’s book JumpStart! Numeracy.**

The focus is on using shortcuts to quickly add and subtract 9 and 8 mentally. For our version you will need a set of coloured cards. Scraps of paper or even post it notes will do. We used blue and yellow paper squares. You need enough so that half of the class (or group) can have one colour and the other half the remaining colour. **Read more »**

This starter idea focusses on** 2D Shape**. In particular the properties of shape and the correct use of shape related vocabulary. Like most of our mental and oral starter ideas it can be used as a group or individual activity too.

It is related to the "**Target Board**" activity we explored in Mental Mondays #13

Here's how this one works. You show a grid of 30 numbered shapes: **Read more »**