mental and oral mathsThis 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 »

mental and oral mathsThis 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 »

mental and oral mathsIn our previous mental and oral suggestion (Mental Monday #12) we focussed on calculation. That activity involved displaying a grid of numbers and challenging the children to choose numbers to solve specific problems. Read more »

mental and oral mathsThis 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 »

mental and oral mathsWith this week’s mental and oral starter idea we are thinking about counting on (and counting back) and place value.

Like most of our other suggestions this can very easily be adapted to suit the needs of your children, which means it could be used with Early Years right up to Key Stage 3. We have also found that it adds a renewed level of interest and enthusiasm to ‘counting on’. Read more »

Calculation GameThis 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 »

mental and oral mathsThis time we offer a Mental and Oral activity which focusses on using a specific strategy to give addition a speed boost.

This teaching activity enables children to gain confidence in reordering the numbers of an addition problem to make that problem easier. The focus is on looking for pairs which create a specific total.

You show an addition problem like this one: Read more »