Maths Resources

These maths games and exercises are specifically for people who have attended Pivotal Education's Maths INSET days.  You will find many of the activities that you took part in on the day and many more. 

We hope these are useful....

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My Number

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: All ages

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division, Fractions, Decimals, Angles

Resources needed: Large digit cards

Description: This is a great activity that gets the class moving whist being really easy to adapt to the age and level of your students.
Each student is given a laminated number or number on a postcard. Numbers should be large enough for others to see easily. They hold up the number in front of their chest so others can see the number too.
The teacher gives a command. E.g. "If your number is divisible by 4, run to the windows." Students check the number, do the calculation and follow the instruction. Then repeat with another command. Differentiate by adapting your commands (and the numbers you give).
Younger children might be given numbers 1-10. Commands may be, "Sit down if you are an even number", "Spin on the spot if your number is bigger than 5".
Older or more able groups can be given fractions, decimals, negative numbers. Commands may be, "(With fractions), if you can be expressed in twelfths, kneel on the floor". Or "If you get a negative number when you subtract 12 from your number, sing ‘happy birthday'."

You can also try - Get into groups of people with the same remainder as you when you divide by a certain number. E.g. "Divide your number by 7. Get into groups with people who have the same remainder as you" Ask what students notice about others in their group. You can experiment with this set up more... Take two people from two different remainder groups - add them together and see what remainder group they end up in.

Also nominate students to give commands.

Use this game to reinforce properties of numbers you are looking at. This can also be played with times of the day or values of money if you are looking at time and money.

Differentiation/Extension: For Early Years: Give the children numbers on large pieces of card and ask them to line up in order.

 

 


 

Keep the Floor Alive

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: All ages

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Rounding, Shape

Resources needed: Space

Description: Pupils all move about the space individually. The teacher asks them to keep the floor alive. The floor needs people to run over it in every area to keep it well and alive. (This stops all pupils from walking/running around in an anti-clockwise circle, in which case they always tend to be near the same people). When the teacher calls out "Freeze", pupils all freeze and are silent. The teacher will then call out an instruction and pupils follow that instruction. When each mini task has been completed, all pupils move around the space and keep the floor alive again. This should make sure that pupils keep getting into groups with different people.
1. Get into groups of 3, 4, 5, 6...
2. Number of points of contact with the floor
3. Bodies made into numbers. E.g. whole group makes ‘4' with their bodies.
4. The smallest/largest number they can make as a group. Now round your number up to the nearest 10 or down to the nearest 10....

Differentiation/Extension:

1. "We are in groups of 5. We have 5 groups and 2 left over. How many people are here today?
2. "How many groups will we have if there are 4 in each group? What will the remainder be then?
3. "Can anyone think of a group size that will give us no remainders?"
Move from this extension activity into the activity called "Remainders"

 

 


 

Number Bonds

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Small groups

Suitable for: KS1, KS2

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Addition and Subtraction

Resources needed: Giant Dice and Laminated A4 cards of numbers up to 12. Or Carpet tiles

Description: You can do this activity on a smaller scale, individually or in pairs at a desk. But for our purposes, we are using large numbers (laminated A4 numbers) and giant foam dice.
Lay the numbers 1 to 12 out in the space. Throw two dice. If the answer is 7, then you turn over all the numbers that are number bonds for that number - i.e. 7, 6 and 1, 5 and 2, 3 and 4. You are left with 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 face up. Your score is the total of the cards facing up. Number bonds for 8 would be 8, 1 and 7, 2 and 6, 3 and 5. But 4 would stay facing up with 9, 10, 11 and 12.
Play this for a bit. What is the worst number to throw to give the worst (highest) score? What is the best?
Extend this activity by using three dice and numbers to 18.
How else can we extend this?

 

 

 


 

Stepping Stones

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: All ages

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: Carpet tile stepping stones, Ribbons to suggest river banks

Description: Set up a river. Students move from one bank to the other, via two stepping stones. Each stepping stone has an operation on it. For example, lets use operations X2 and -1 on our stepping stones to begin with.

A student starts on one side of the river with a number, e.g. 20. Then they jump onto the first stepping stone and do the first operation... 20 x 2 = 40. Now they jump onto the second stepping stone and do the second operation... 40 - 1 = 39. So the number they end up with on the far bank is 39. 
Another student repeats the activity with a different number. Record the numbers they start and end with.
Try negative numbers. Try fractions and decimals.
Possible extensions to this activity:

  • Plot the numbers that you start and end with on a graph. (X-axis shows starting numbers, Y-axis shows ending numbers). Look for a pattern.
  • Change the two operations round. So that you subtract 1 first then multiply by 2. Do you get the same answer? What is the relationship between the first answer and the second?
  • Alter the operations that you do. Get students to suggest different operations and you can differentiate according to ability.
  • Ask some students to go back across the river the other way. E.g. "If I end up with the number 43, what number did I start with?"
  • Play this game in teams of 4 or 5. Give each team a different set of stepping stones to travel across. Each individual within the team has a different number to start with. Team members take it in turn to cross the river. Once over the river, they each note down their final number, add all of the groups numbers up and race to take their ‘group number' to the teacher.

 

 

 


 

Frogs and Robots

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: 1-100 carpet tiles, Ribbon

Description: Set numbers 1-10 out in a number line. A child crouches on a number being a frog and then has to ‘add 1’ by jumping like a frog onto the next number.  What number is the frog on now?  The teacher can write the calculation (e.g. 4 + 1 = 5) on the board/large paper to show how it is notated.  Do the same with simple subtraction.

Differentiation/Extension:

  • The number line is extended to numbers greater than 10.  Children are programmable robots.  The robot is given a set of instructions, e.g. Add 10, subtract 3, add 5.  The robot moves like a robot through the instructions – moving up and down the number line as necessary.  What number do the end up on?  
  • Extend previous point by working out what the final ‘answer’ number is relative to the original number?  E.g. If starting number is 7.  7 + 10 – 3 + 5 = 19.  Which is the same as saying 7 + 12 = 19.  Some robots will be able to simplify the operation mentally and move directly to the answer square.
  • Teach multiplication by addition and division by subtraction using the numberline.  So write a calculation on a large piece of paper (e.g. 5 x 4 = )  Then ask a child to start on 0 and count 5 as they walk 5 spaces on the number line (adding 5).  When they get to 5, the class counts the number of times they have moved forward 5 steps.  When the class gets to ‘4’, then the child should have moved 5 steps four times and should be standing on 20.  With division by subtraction pupils work out a calculation e.g. 21÷7, the child stands on 21 and then counts 7 steps repeatedly as they subtract numbers.  Each time the child counts 7 steps, the class counts how many groups of 7 steps have been counted.  When the child gets back to 0 the group should call out ‘3’ which is the answer.

 

 


 

Bingo

Time needed: 5 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: All ages

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: 1-100 carpet tiles

Description: Divide children into groups of 3.  Each group of 3 is given 8 random number tiles, which they lay out before them.  The teacher asks a question, which pupils work out the answer to.  If they have the answer on their tile, they can turn it over.  If a group turns all 8 of their tiles over they shout “Bingo” and have won the game.

Differentiation/Extension: For Yr 1 - the teacher could just call out the number. For Yr 2 – the teacher could say, for example, “1 more than 76”.  Or “84 minus 2”

 

 


 

Jumping Multiples

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Small groups

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: Large numbers - 1-10

Description: Children sit in groups.  Each group is given a single digit.  The teacher counts upwards from 1 and when the teacher calls out a multiple of a groups number, the children in that group all jump. What numbers have the most groups jumping at the same time?  Then call out numbers at random and if your number is a factor of it then jump.

Differentiation/Extension: Multiple Music. Children jump, tap, clap, click etc. as they count on certain numbers e.g. tap shoulders on multiples of 2, jump on multiples of 5, stamp on multiples of 10 etc. as you count on or back from 0 – 100.  In this extension, pupils have to concentrate on all multiples.  (This is like Fizz Buzz, see below)

 

 


 

Fizz Buzz

Time needed: 5 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: None

Description: Children count round the class - each child says a number. Instead of numbers, they say 'fizz' on multiples of 3, and 'buzz' on multiples of 5, and 'fizz buzz' on multiples of 3 and 5 (15 etc.)

Differentiation/Extension: Add more noises for multiples of different numbers.

 

 


 

Hand Jive

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Small groups

Suitable for: KS2, KS3

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: Numbers, Ribbon

Description: Hand Jive whilst counting. 5 actions:

1. open right hand palm up

2. open left hand palm up

3. touch left shoulder with right hand

4. touch right shoulder with left hand

5. both hands on head.

Practice to get the rhythm then ask questions such as, “Where will your hands be when we say 50?” “Where will your hands be when we say 38?” “Tell me about the numbers you say when you have your left hand on your right shoulder.” etc

Differentiation: 

  • Count in 2s instead of single whole numbers.  How does this change what action you do on different numbers?  What numbers have the same action as before?  Why?
  • Ask groups of students to create a sequence of movement for other times tables - i.e. a sequence of 8 moves for 8 times table.
  • For younger students, simplify.  Star Jumps: Children count in ones as they jump saying 1 as they put their arms up, and 2 as they put hands down and so on. Ask questions such as where will your hands be when you say 10, 5, etc.

Extension: count in 2s, 5s, 10s etc.

 

 


 

Numberlines

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3. KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers

Resources needed: Numbers, Ribbon

Description: For Foundation – put a string on ground. Child A given no 0 (or 1 if they can’t cope with Zero).  Child B given no 10. They stand near ends of string. Child C handed a suitably differentiated no and stands in appropriate place on line etc.  Repeat for other whole numbers between 0 and 10.  Teacher can ask “Is it in the right place?” and the class can help their classmates find the right place.

  • For foundation.  Using a complete number line, ask children to take up every other number and count the ones left to do odds and evens. 
  • For years 1 and 2, the numberline can be extended to 30.
  • “Everyone that has a number less than 5 – jump”.  “Everyone that has a number more than 3 – sit down.” 
  • Use larger whole numbers and/or negative numbers and/or simple fractions and decimals. Make one end of the line 0 and the other end of the line 1.  Use fractions and/or decimals.  You can give one pupil ¼ and another 2/8 and see if they know to stand at the same point on the line. Mix denominators of fractions e.g. pupils will have to work out what order the fractions come in and where they are positioned on the line in relation to other fractions.
  • Split the children into 3 ability groups. Give each child in each group a card from differentiated sets with metric measures on. Ask them to put themselves in order. Bring the groups together adding Group 2 to the Group 1 line and then adding Group 3.
  • Group 1 cards – 5cm, 1m, ½m, 10cm, ¼m , ¾ m, 90 cm etc.
  • Group 2 cards – 100cm, 0.5m, 0.1m, 0.3m, 0.8m, 0.75m, 0.25m etc.
  • Group 3 cards - 1/10m 3/10m 2/5m 0.8m, 50%m 25%m

Differentiation/Extension: 3 - digit numberline....

Human number line (ordering 3 digit numbers).  Children are given ‘post its’ with a 3 digit number and they have to work together to order themselves from smallest to largest number. Then ask them to describe their position in number line – why they are in a certain position using vocabulary – units, tens, hundreds, digit, larger, smaller etc.

 

 


 

Remainders

Time needed: 5 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS2, KS3. KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: 1-100 tiles

Description: Each child holds a card bearing a positive whole number.  They get into groups with same remainder when divided by (say) 4. Who will still be with you if you get into groups with same remainder when divided by 8?

Differentiation/Extension: Add 2 numbers in the group. Which group would the sum be in?... Choose 2 more nos in same group etc.

 

 


 

Play Your Cards Right

Time needed: 5 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3. KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Probability, Estimating

Resources needed: Carpet tiles 1-100

Description: Set out 8 markers in a line on the floor (these can be carpet tiles number side down).  Then randomly select 8 further tiles from the ‘pack’ of numbers.  The teacher turns one number over.  As a group, the class must decide where the number should be placed.  The aim is to place the 8 tiles in the right order (smallest to largest) on the markers, but as the class are unaware what numbers are coming, they have to make judgements about where to place the number.  Continue turning over tiles and placing them by markers.  If a tile cannot be placed, then it is put on a separate pile to the side.  How many tiles cannot be placed?  Repeat.  Did we do any better? 

Differentiation/Extension: What happens if we only use numbers 1-50 but still have 8 places?  What happens if we have 10 places?  What if we have 8 positions and only 16 cards?  Are we more likely to be successful? Do we have fewer cards on the discarded pile?

 

 


 

1 to 100

Time needed: 5 minutes

Group size: Small groups

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Estimating

Resources needed: Numbers 1-100 (playing card size)

Description: Use playing card size numbers 0 – 100. Throw randomly in heap on floor .Get a group to place them in a line on hall floor. Before starting put 0 in place and ask them to estimate where 100 will be. Y2/3, for example, find it difficult to work as a team. You need to stop them and discuss how they can help the whole group to achieve result. 

Differentiation/Extension: Estimate how many cards/numbers would we need to get all the way to the other side of the hall?  What number do you think we would be at by the other side of the playground? How can we make a good estimate?  You will need to measure.

 

 


 

Constructing a 100 Square

Time needed: 5 minutes

Group size: Small groups

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers

Resources needed: Carpet tiles 1-100

Description: Children lay out the tiles in a 100 square. This can be an interesting activity in itself and can take a considerable amount of time.  It is useful to have some of the class organising the number square and the others watching.  The teacher can ask those watching questions and they can think about other ways that the task could be organised.

Differentiation/Extension: Teacher/LSA can give instructions, directions to students.  Put one child in charge of planning and leading the rest in this operation. Split the numbers into groups of 10 (i.e. 1-10, 11-20…) and give to different groups to order within set and then lay out within 100 square.

 

 


 

Finding Patterns

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers

Resources needed: Carpet tiles 1-100

Description: Stand on a number in the 2 x table.  Teacher changes the language. “Now stand on a number that is a multiple of 2” or “Now stand on an even number”.  Stand on a number that has 4 as a factor. Even number...Multiple of 10...Stand on a prime number...Stand on a square number.

Differentiation/Extension:

  • With KS1 you can generate the tables by counting out the numbers between each multiple.  So for the three times table, one pupil stands on 3.  Then the class counts and puts a different child on each multiple.
  • You can do division by subtraction in this way also.
  • Stand on a square where the sum of the digits is 11. WHY are you standing in a straight line? Would this be the case if the digit sum were 12?

 

 


 

3s and 9s Experiment

Time needed: 5 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: 100 Square

Description: Lay out 100 square

  1. Stand on a number in the 3 x table. (up to 9 x 10)
  2. Pupils shut their eyes. “What number is in front of you?  To the left?  Diagonally 1 place away?”
  3. Move, if necessary, (from your multiple of 3)  to a multiple of 9
  4. Add the digits in the number you are standing on. Move to the square which is the sum of the digits (everyone on one square so a bit of a squash!).
Why did that happen?  Would we get the same result with any other times table?

Differentiation/Extension: 4 people needed – the rest watch and think. Stand at the 4 corners of a rectangle whose sides are parallel to the sides of the 100 square. Add the numbers at the opposite ends of the diagonals. What do you notice about the 2 answers? Why?

 

 


 

Jumping Number Bonds

Time needed: 5 minutes

Time needed:  5 minutes

Group size:  Full class

Suitable for:  EY, KS1

Curriculum Area(s):  Numbers

Resources needed: Carpet tiles or numberline

Description: In pairs "make 10". 1st child choose a number less than ten and jumps that number. The partner must jump the appropriate number to "make 10".

Differentiation/Extension: "Make 20".

 

 


 

Factor Pairs

Time needed: 5 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: Carpet tiles 1-100

Description: Using 12 children.  Each child stands on a factor of 96 (1,2,3,4,6,8,12,16,24,32,48,96), no 2 people on same tile. Teacher chooses one of these numbers and the person standing on that number finds the “factor pair” making 96. Children move off the tiles in these factor pairs

 

 


 

Sieve of Eratosthenes

Time needed: 5 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers

Resources needed: ???

Description: Clearing up procedure (Sieve of Eratosthenes). Remove 1 from the boeard.

  • Teacher stands on no 2, children pick up all other multiples of 2.
  • Teacher stands on no 3, children pick up all other multiples of 3.
  • Teacher stands on no 5, children pick up all other multiples of 5.
  • Teacher stands on no 7, children pick up all other multiples of 7. Etc…

What numbers are we left with?  What is special about these numbers? 

 

 

 


 

Number Rectangles

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: Carpet tiles 1-100

Description: Pupils stand on multiples of 10 on the 100 square.  Now stand on numbers that have a remainder of 1 when divided by 10.  Remainders of 2.  What do we notice about all of these?  Now stand on multiples of 9.  Why are we in a line when we are standing on multiples of 10?  Make a rectangle to show the 9 X table.  i.e. 1-9 across the top row, 10-18 across row 2 and so on up to 90.  Now what happens when we stand on multiples of 9?  Are we in a straight line?  What about remainders of 3 when we divide by 9?  Where will we stand?  Now lets make a rectangle that will help us with the 7 times table.  Repeat exercises.

What patterns can we find in the different times tables?  

 

 

 


 

Number Police

Time needed: 20 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Addition and Subtraction, Moltiplication and Division

Resources needed: 100 square, 2 telephones, large paper and pens

Description: Half the class are policemen, half are informants.  The police are looking for a number who is suspected of committing a crime.  As a group, informants decide what number is guilty.  Police have all the numbers from 0 to 100 lined up on a ‘suspect board’ (or on the floor).  Informants call up the police station on a telephone (two telephones and a telephone sound effect are perfect here, but not necessary).  Informants must provide clues to help the police eliminate some of the numbers from their suspect lists.  E.g. ‘The number you are looking for is even’ or ‘The number you are looking for is a multiple of 4’ or ‘The number you are looking for has a 2 in it” or “The number you are looking for is three more than a prime number” or “The number you are looking for is three more than a triangle number”.  As the police eliminate suspect numbers they turn them over.  They are left with the number that caused the crime.

Differentiation/Extension: Use a smaller range of numbers for lower year groups. Foundation can just use 10 numbers. Use more complicated clues for older children - encourage them to use more complex mathematical language. For older children - limit the number of clues the informants are allowed to give and specify the language they must use in clues e.g. factor, greater than, divisible by.... Try switching it around so that the police are interviewing the informants and asking specific questions - but are only allowed to ask a certain number of questions.

 

 


 

Blind Numbers

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Addition and Subtraction

Resources needed: Carpet tiles 1-100, Card with series of calculations on, 100 square printed in pack

Description: With the number tiles in a 100 square, turn all the tiles over so that you can’t see any of the numbers.  Individually, give children a number to go and stand on the right square.  When the child thinks they are on the right place, ask the rest of the children if they agree.  The child can adjust their positioning if they want to.  Reveal the number they are standing on and see if they are right.

  • Give easier numbers to find in the blind square to the less able (e.g. single digits, or 21, 31…).  Or begin by having some numbers revealed to give clues on the square.  The less able pupils can start the game and then gradually, you can reveal less numbers until the whole square is blind and the more able have a go.  
  • Give a pupil a card with a series of calculations on.  They are given a square to start on  and then they must ‘add three’, ‘subtract twenty’, ‘add eleven’. When they have performed their series of operations, they must predict what square they are now standing on and they can reveal it to see if they are right.  You could do this with several children starting on different squares and doing similar operations (the class should see them moving together in patterns)
  • One pupil stands on the 100 square.  All numbers are blind.  The other pupils turn their backs away from the grid and sit on the floor.  The child on the grid chooses a square to start on (possibly best to begin with 1 as a starting square). Then they perform a series of moves around the board, describing their movement to the rest of the class.  For example, “I am moving forward three places” or “I am moving five places to my right”.  Try this with two or three operations to start with.  The class then has to say which number they think the child has ended up on.  Some pupils will work this out mentally, others will need to have a printed 100 square to help them.  Some pupils may need to watch the child move around the space.

 

 

 


 

Introducing Algebra

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers

Resources needed: Carpet tiles 1-100, X Y Z signs

Description: In pairs, pupils are given a relationship that they must maintain on the 100 square grid. E.g. one must always be on a number that is 3 greater than the other. Pairs move around the gird, trying to maintain this relationship. What happens when they get near 1 or 100? This exercise can be used as a stand alone, but with high ability, it can be used to introduce algebra. This could be done with some of the glass while others continue the basic game. Label one of the pairs X and the other Y. Then give them a relationship to maintain as an equation e.g. X + Y = 13 or X - Y= 4.
Pupils must work out what the relationship is in terms of positioning on the grid and then can move around the grid and maintain the position, always making sure that their equation is true.

Differentiation/Extension: Use three children for one operation. E.g. Try with X + Y + Z = 21

 



 

3 Woodpigeons

Time needed: 5 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Addition and Subtraction

Resources needed: An enthusiastic singing voice.

Description: Sing songs that help children with their understanding of number or require mental calculations.

  • Identify children to lead each verse on ‘3 Woodpigeons'. 
  • Include decimals, fractions, negative numbers etc in 3 woodpiegeons.

Click here to hear how the song sounds

 

 

 


 

Group Pig

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Probability, Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: Columns could be written in the pack

Description: I have a simple one I play when we have an extra 5-10 minutes. I'm up front with 2 dice. Each person has a piece of paper and 4 columns drawn out on them. I roll 2 dice and call out the 2 numbers I rolled. ("5, 3") Depending on your level/KS, you can either have the kids add, subtract, do one positive and one negative, multiply, etc. They jot down the answer as fast as they can in the first column (let's say "15"), and I roll again. I try to push the speed as fast at they can do it. If I roll doubles, the game ends and everyone loses the points they've gotten to that point. So the tricky part is that they have to anticipate when I'm going to roll doubles, and stand up to show they're freezing their score. Once they're up, they have to stay up. But if they're sitting when I roll doubles, they go bust and their score becomes 0 for that game. Then everyone who was standing up adds up their list of numbers and the one with the highest (or lowest if you're doing negatives) wins that round. With older kids, it can lead to a discussion of probability as well -- what are the possible rolls and how many of them are doubles? After how many rolls is it reasonable to get a little nervous about upcoming doubles?

Give a prize to the winner - a sticker?

 

 


 

Dice Game 1

 

Group size: Pairs

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Place Value,  Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: Dice, game instructions and empty cells for marking down answers.

Description:

Game 1
Take turns to throw the dice and decide which of your four cells to fill. Do this four times each until all your cells are full.
Whoever has the larger four-digit number wins.
There are two possible scoring systems:
A point for a win. The first person to reach 10 wins the game
Work out the difference between the two four-digit numbers after each round.
The winner keeps this score. First to 10000 wins.
Now for some variations...


Game 2
Whoever makes the smaller four digit number wins. Adapt the scoring to suit.


Game 3
Set a target to aim for. Then throw the dice four times each and work out how far each of you is from the target number. Whoever is the closer wins.

There are two possible scoring systems:
A point for a win. The first person to reach 10 wins the game
Work out the difference between the two four-digit numbers and the target number after each round. Keep a running total. First to 10000 loses.
Possible targets: 5000, 3500, 2222, ...


Game 4
This game introduces a decimal point. The decimal point will take up one of the cells so this time the dice only needs to be thrown three times by each player. The winner is the one closer to the target.

Possible targets: 35, 3.1, 24, 2.6, 10, ....

Two possible versions:
each player decides in advance where they want to put the decimal point before taking turns to throw the dice
each player throws the dice three times and then decides where to place the digits and the decimal point.
Again, two different scoring systems are possible.


Game 5
This is the nasty version!

Play any of the games above. This time you can choose to keep your number and put it in one of your cells, or give it to your partner and tell them which cell to put it in. You might lose a friend this way! It's really important to take turns to start each round if this game is going to be fair.

This becomes even nastier when you play the games above with more than two people.


Game 6
A cooperative game rather than a competitive one - for three or more people.

Choose any of the games above. Decide in advance which of you will get the closest to the target, who will be second closest, third, fourth etc. Now work together to decide in whose cells the numbers should be placed, and where.

 

 


 

Dice Game 2

 

Group size: Pairs

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Place Value, Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: Dice, game instructions and empty cells for marking down answers

Description: Take turns to throw the dice and decide which of your cells to fill. This can be done in two ways:
either fill in each cell as you throw the dice or collect all your numbers and then decide where to place them.

 

Game 1

Each of you draw an addition grid like this:

XXX +
XXX
XXX
____


Throw the dice nine times each until all the cells are full.
Whoever has the sum closest to 1000 wins.


There are two possible scoring systems:
A point for a win. The first person to reach 10 wins the game.
Each player works out the difference between their result and 1000 after each round. They keep their running total. First to 5000 loses.
You can vary the target to make it easier or more difficult.

 

Game 2

Each of you draw a subtraction grid like this:
XXXX -
XXXX
_____


Throw the dice eight times each until all the cells are full.
Whoever has the difference closest to 1000 wins.


There are two possible scoring systems:
A point for a win. The first person to reach 10 wins the game.
Each player works out the difference between their result and 1000 after each round. They keep their running total. First to 5000 loses.
You can vary the target to make it easier or more difficult, perhaps including negative numbers as your target.

 

Game 3

Each of you draw a multiplication grid like this:
XX x
XX
____

Throw the dice four times each until all the cells are full.

Whoever has the product closest to 1000 wins.

There are two possible scoring systems:
A point for a win. The first person to reach 10 wins the game.
Each player works out the difference between their result and 1000 after each round. They keep their running total. First to 5000 loses.
You can vary the target to make it easier or more difficult.

 

Game 4

Each of you draw a multiplication grid like this:
XXX x
XX
____


Throw the dice five times each until all the cells are full.
 
Whoever has the product closest to 10000 wins.

There are two possible scoring systems:
A point for a win. The first person to reach 10 wins the game.
Each player works out the difference between their result and 10000 after each round. They keep their running total. First to 10000 loses.
You can vary the target to make it easier or more difficult.

You could introduce a decimal point. The decimal point could take up one of the cells so the dice would only need to be thrown four times by each player. You will need to decide on an appropriate target.

 

Game 5

Each of you draw a division grid like this:

XXXX divided by X

Throw the dice five times each until all the cells are full.

Whoever has the answer closest to 1000 wins.

There are two possible scoring systems:
A point for a win. The first person to reach 10 wins the game.
Each player works out the difference between their result and 1000 after each round. They keep their running total. First to 5000 loses.
You can vary the target to make it easier or more difficult.

 



 

Wild West Addition

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: Large playing cards

Description: You need a deck of cards, with all the face cards taken out. Two students go up in front of the class and stand back-to-back. You put a card on each students forehead (without them seeing the card). Then the students take three steps away from each other and turn and face the class.

The whole class then looks at the sum or difference of the two cards that are on the students' foreheads and tell them the sum or difference. Then, using the sum or difference, and looking at the card on the other person's forehead, they have to figure out the card on their forehead. Whoever shouts out the correct answer first wins that round. Play again and again.

This can be done with multiplication...

 

 


 

Counting Machine

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Place Value

Resources needed: Chairs, Labels (HTU etc), A4 large digit cards

Description: Set three chairs out next to each other. Label the chairs 'hundreds', 'tens' and 'units'. The class forms three lines of ten people, behind each of the chairs. If there are fewer than 30 in the class, have less in the 'hundreds' column. Each child is given a digit card. Start with the children with the 0 digits sitting in the three chairs. The class form a counting machine - starting at zero (000). Then the counting machine begins to count. The child holding the 0 in the units column moves to the back of his line and the child holding the 1 in the units line moves forward and sits on the chair. The counting machine now displays (001). Continue to count. The units continue to move around. After 009, the tens digit changes also, so we have 010. Stop the machine at intervals and ask the children sitting down what the place value of their digit is.

Differentiation/Extension:

  • The counting machine can also count in tens. What do the children do now?

  • Use the counting machine to add numbers together. Start with 45 and add 31. Who moves? How about adding 27 to 19? Who moves first? Why? Now try adding three digit numbers. 

  • Use the counting machine to subtract numbers.


 


 

Place Value Chairs

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Place Value

Resources needed: Chairs (or labels on the wall to stand under), large digit cards, 'hundreds' 'tens' and 'units' labels (maybe also thousands, tenths etc), decimal point.

Description: Use labelled chairs (HTU). Give three pupils a single digit number each and arrange them in front of the chairs. What number do we have? E.g. 475. What happens if we switch them around? E.g. 547. What is the value of the digit 5? What was it in the first example? Make the biggest number, smallest number etc.

What happens if we add another chair with ‘thousands', shift everyone one place to the left and then add a 0? E.g. 5470. What is the value of the 5 now? If we add another chair "Tens of Thousands" and shift everyone to the left again, what is the value of the 5 now? Now go back to just two chairs - tens and units.
This is a good way to demonstrate multiplication of whole numbers by 10, 100 etc, where pupils can see each other moving seats.

Working with place value to introduce decimals. You start by doing division. Divide 500 by 100. Divide 540 by 10. Now divide 547 by 10. ‘What shall we do with George?' who has fallen off the end. A natural way to introduce decimals. Put a third chair to the right of the units and label it ‘tenths' and add something to indicate the decimal point - e.g. a ball or Frisbee. The key thing before introducing decimals, is to get them understanding multiplication and division by 10 as resulting in movement of all the figures by one place and also appreciating that multiplying by 10 twice gives x 100 and two places movement. So shifting our original three digits down to the right again we have 54.7. What is the place value of the 5 now? What about the 7? NB: The decimal point should always stay in the same place. The chairs should be moved around it, but it itself should not move. It is not really helpful to develop understanding to say that the decimal point moves or jumps to the right when you multiply by 10 or jumps to the left when you divide by 10. This can cause problems later.

 


 

Ratio Game

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Ratio/Proportion

Resources needed: Label, Ribbons

Description: The whole class works together. The teacher splits the room into two halves using a ribbon or string. Using large digit cards, label each side of the room, e.g. one side is labelled '1' the other '3'.

The teacher places one student in the section labelled '1'. The students must move into one or other half of the room to make sure that the ratio of bodies is the same as the signs indicate. You can do this in silence. Then the teacher can add another student to the '1' side without changing the labels. The students decide what to do.

Then change the signs, change the ratio.

How many different ways can the students find to achieve a specific ratio of bodies? I.e. The ratio '2:3' could be shown with 5 students or 10 students or 15 students etc... What do we notice about the number of students we can use to represent this ratio? What is the pattern?

Ask the questions: If we had 100 people in this section, how many would we have in the other section? If we had 55 people in total, how many of them would be in this section?

Discuss 'Ratio' - what does it mean? How do we notate it? Where do we see ratios written in the world around us?

 

 


 

Cats, Bees and Spiders

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3

Curriculum Area(s): Multiplication and Division

Resources needed: 100 square

Description: For this game you need a giant 100 square, either a mat, carpet tiles or marked out in the playground.

This is a simple but really fun multiplication game that also has cross-curricular links with science.

Three pupils play the game, the rest of the class watches. Start with Cats. Pupil A represents the cat, Pupil B represents the cats eyes, Pupil C represents the cats legs.
Pupil A stands on the number 1 and says "One Cat". Then Pupil B stands on the number of eyes that 1 cat has (2) and says "Two Eyes". Then Pupil C stands on the number of legs that 1 cat has (4) and says "Four Legs".

Pupil A then jumps to the number 2:
2 Cats
4 Eyes
8 Legs

Pupil A then jumps to number 3:
3 Cats
6 Eyes
12 Legs

Etc.....

Swap pupils when you want to.

Then, to make it harder, you can do Bees instead of Cats.

1 Bee
5 Eyes
6 Legs

2 Bees
10 Eyes
12 Legs

Or Spiders (you will have to specify which spider you are using as some have 8 eyes, some 6, some 4 and some 2)

1 Spider
6 Eyes
8 Legs

2 Spiders
12 Eyes
16 Legs

Variations/Extensions:

  • Using three pupils on the 100 square, Pupil A moves about from one number to another, non-sequentially. 'One Cat', then '4 Cats', then '21 Cats'...
  • Look at factors and division... Do the game backwards. Start with legs and work backwards to eyes and then whole cats.
  • The class line up at the side of the side of the 100 square. The first child stands on any number under 15 in the square. They say "One Dog" or "one grasshopper" and then the next pupil comes on to be the eyes, the next pupil comes on to be the legs. This requires that pupils know the number of eyes and legs that all different classifications of animals have and also requires them to do the multiplication.

 



Base Station

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Space

Resources needed: Grid on the floor or Blind 100 square, NSEW signs, Something to represent 'Base Station'

Description: On a blind 100 square. Say that each square represents a metre. Put out the NSEW signs.... Add a base station **Base Station should be somewhere in the middle of the row of 70s, 80s or 90s.

Chippy is an alien and is played by one of the group. Chippy is going to start from his base station and go on a journey. Tell the group that, at the end of the journey, they will need to say how far he has travelled.

The journey:
He started from his base station and went 2m (metres) N (North).
Then he turned and went 2m E (East), 3m N, then 3m W (West) and 2m S (South).
After that he went 2m E, 3m N and 3m W again.
Then he went 5m S and 4m E.
Finally, he went 1m S.
There he stopped.

How many metres altogether did Chippy travel on that journey?
How far and in what direction must Chippy travel to get back to his base station?
How far North/East/South/West is he from his base station?


The next day Chippy went on another journey.

This time he started 3 m (metres) West and 4 m North of his base station. He went 6 m E, 2 m N, 4 m W and 1 m S. He then turned round and retraced his movements for 4 m.

Where did he end up?
Can you find the shortest route to get him back to his base station?
How many metres did he have to go to get back?
Can you find him a route back which is exactly 12 m?
How many different 12 m routes can you find?

Differentiation/Extension: If each square represents 10 metres, how many metres does he need to travel to get back to base? How about if each square represents 1.5 metres?

 

 


 

NSEW

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Space

Resources needed: Markers for goalmouths, NSEW signs

Description: Mark N S E W on the walls of hall or classroom. Everyone stand in a space and turn rapidly when directions are called out - West, East, North, West etc... Then try it with eyes closed so that they develop a strong idea of where the directions are relative to each other.
Two students together facing North wall. Some way ahead, to the right, say, is a goalmouth parallel to the East wall. Student 1 is blindfolded and gives student 2 instructions e.g. "5 paces due north", "4 paces east" and so on until Student 1 goes through the goalmouth. This can be made more complicated by devising an obstacle course that students must be guided around by giving instructions of space, direction, position and angle.

Differentiation/Extension:

  • For year 4 upwards: Use 8 compass points, instructions to include ½ right angle turns, ¼ right angle turns, 1 ½ right angles etc.

  • Move as directed as though programmable toy. Use instructions that include angles in degrees, NSEW







Shapley Shapes

Time needed: 25 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Space, Shape

Resources needed: Ribbons

Description: When pupils are in groups, the teacher calls out a shape. (You can get the pupils into groups using ‘keep the floor alive'. Pupils use their bodies to form a representation of that shape. E.g. The teacher calls out ‘triangle'. In their groups, pupils create a triangle (one per group, not one per child).

Highlight good examples - clear shapes and definite lines or angles. Allow pupils to look at other groups' work. Give praise for imaginative thinking as well as completing the task. KQs: Is the shape clear? Is everyone in the group a part of the shape? Have groups used their bodies in effective ways? How could this group have created a clearer shape? Steer pupils into using correct mathematical language when answering KQs.

Repeat as many times as desired, using different group sizes and shapes.

Differentiation/Extension:
  • Make the exercise age/ability dependent. Simple shapes are suitable for younger pupils, whereas elder children will quickly progress to more complicated polygons, including different types of triangles and quadrilaterals.

  • Introduce 3-D shapes. As 3-D objects are much harder to create than 2-D shapes, don't expect miracles (you won't get a perfect sphere!) Try pyramids, cones and cuboids first.

  • The relationship between group size and shape affects the difficulty of the task. Creating an equilateral triangle with 3 people is much easier than it is with 4 or 5. Decide whether you want to give groups a challenge or an easier task before selecting group size and shape. You could call out ‘equilateral triangle' four times in a row, with group sizes of 3, 4, 5 and finally 6. Then question pupils: "Was it easier to create the triangle with 3 or 4 people? "Why do you think that is? "What about groups of 6? Was that easier? Why? "What about other types of triangle? Could you make a different triangle easily with 4 or 5 people?"

  • Instead of calling out a shape, say, "Make a shape with 4 sides", or "Make a shape with at least two parallel lines". After looking at the results of the task, the class can discuss what other shapes could have been created.

  • During the sharing stage of the task, where pupils look at each other's work, ask pupils to indicate perimeters, areas, acute angles, parallel and perpendicular lines etc. Alternatively, the teacher indicates aspects of a shape and asks pupils to name them.

  • You may find that when producing 2-D shapes, pupils lie on the floor, creating shapes in a horizontal plane. To encourage more imaginative thinking, try specifying the plane as well as the shape. E.g. "Create a rectangle in a vertical plane". Avoid diagonal planes unless you are feeling daring, as the task will become near impossible without the use of a harness. (You may decide that this is still a useful task. Good problem solvers may create a 2-D shape on a diagonal plane very close to the vertical, for example.)

  • When creating 3-D objects, instead of calling out the name of the object, show a 2-D drawing of a 3-D shape. Alternatively, describe the attributes of a shape (2-D or 3-D) so that pupils have to work out what the shape is before creating it.

  • Focus on symmetry. Ask pupils to create shapes with one or two lines of symmetry or rotational symmetry of a particular order. Extend this task by asking pupils to create a shape with a line of symmetry and then, without losing the line of symmetry, move into a second shape. The shapes, as well as the transition between them, should retain the symmetry.

  • Transformation work can be addressed as an extension of this shape task. After groups have created shapes, the teacher calls out a transformation. For example, each group has created a square, then the teacher says, ‘rotation of 180°' and groups perform the rotation. The same can be done with reflections, by specifying the direction of the line of reflection. Translations can also be performed, but do require more planning, as a grid should be created. One way of doing this is to post signs at regular intervals on the walls. The walls become the axes; the signs show the integers along the axes. Pupils then have to translate their shapes across the room according to the instruction given. Different translations can be given to each group, to prevent all groups from running out of space.



 


 

Blind Modelling

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Pairs

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Shape, Space

Resources needed: Unifix Blocks, Variety of Boxes, Pencils and Paper

Description: Pupils sit back to back in pairs, each with a supply of coloured blocks. One pupil makes a model out of the blocks, describing how he is connecting and positioning them. The other tries to create the same model with the blocks, just using the descriptive language of the partner as a guide. Compare models.

Differentiation/Extension: They draw a plan and elevation of the tower and measure its height. They then topple the tower and give the drawings and measurement to another pair who try to reconstruct the tower.

 



 

Angle Kung-Fu

Time needed:10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Angles

Description: The class learns the names for ‘acute’, ‘obtuse’, ‘reflex’ and ‘right angle’.  The teacher teaches some 'kung fu' moves in which the angle of the arms are made into the different types of angle.  The class practices the moves at the same time as performing a sort of battle cry - "OBTUSE" - and the arms are flung into an obtuse angle (in a Kung Fu style).  Once the class are familiar with the angles, moves and battle cries, the teacher calls out an angle in degrees (e.g. 65 degrees) and the class responds with the correct kung fu move.  

Differentiation/Extension: This can be developed into a battle between two halves of the class - with the teams challenging each other with different angles.  They can compete for the best, quickest, most synchronized, loudest and most accurate moves.  Teacher can give points to each team based on how well they do.  

 

 


 

Charts and Diagrams

Time needed: 20 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Graphs and Charts

Resources needed: Ribbons for marking space, Large paper and markers for labelling, 100 number carpet tiles

Description:

  • Use the four quarters of the hall to represent a Carroll Diagram and give pupils numbers less than 50. Even/not even on one side. Multiple of 7/ not a multiple of 7 on the other side.

  • Draw a circle on the floor and ask children to go into it if they fit certain criteria e.g. children who are 8. Ask questions e.g. how many children are not 8 etc. Draw an additional circle and introduce idea of two overlapping sets. Ask each child to choose a shape and then label sets. Ask children in turn to go to relevant section. Repeat with different criteria. Then extend and repeat with numbers and properties of numbers.

  • Human Graph. Collect data about children's favourite food, TV programme or toy etc, the children go out into the playground or hall to make a human graph, each child stands in the column which they chose as their favourite thing, therefore making a human graph. Label the Y axis with large numbers.

Differentiation/Extension:

  • Carroll diagram for young children - use eye colour/hair colour instead of properties of numbers.

  • How could we create a carroll diagram that had three options for each category e.g. Eye colour - blue/brown/other and Hair colour blonde/brown/other.

  • Can we create a Carroll diagram that compares three different things e.g. Hair (brown/not brown), Eye (brown/not brown), Birthday (Jan-Jun/Jul-Dec)? How would we split the space?

  • How do you demonstrate subsets in Venn Diagrams?

  • Pupils sit in groups of 4 or 5. Within each group each person is required to complete a task. The task itself is not important. It could be how many counters you can stack on top of each other in 1 minute or how many beanbags you can throw into a hoop in 1 minute. Each group must record the results from their group. They must decide how to record the results (e.g. tally chart, list...) The groups then share the results with the rest of the class. Now each group has the results from the whole class and they must find a way to present the results (e.g. bar chart). 

 

 


 

Human Clock

Time needed:15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Time

Resources needed: Large numbers, Ribbons

Description: Use the number tiles as points on a clock.  Create a ‘maypole’ with one child in the centre and two children holding ribbons of different colours to represent the hour and minute hands.  Make times that are shouted out.  Move from 2:15 to 5:30.  Which hand moves the fastest?  How many times did the hour hand move past 12?  What does this tell us?  What happens when we add the second hand?  How fast does it actually move?

Differentiation/Extension: You could have two clocks – one in Wolverhampton and one in New York.  Show the difference in the time between the two places.  

 

 


 

Clock Problems

Time needed:20 minutes

Group size: Pairs

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Time, Angles

Resources needed: Analogue clock, Ribbon clock, Blank sheets of clocks (maybe in pack), Question cards, laminated to post into stations around the room, Laminated digital clock segments with detachable segments

Description: Could do it like this: Ask the group to line up in order of how confident you feel with maths.  Then form pairs - by taking first and last together, etc....Different pairs do different problems at the same time.  They can have these on stations around the room. 

The pairs are free to move around the room as they wish, do a problem and then move on.  They can spend as long or as short a time on each activity as they wish.

The whole class has 20 minutes for the whole task.

Problem 1: How many times in twelve hours do the hands of a clock form a right angle? 

Problem 2: In 10 minutes, through how many degrees does the minute hand of the clock sweep?  In 3 hours, how many degrees does the hour hand of the clock sweep through?  If the minute hand goes through 180, how many degrees does the hour hand sweep?

Problem 3: On a digital clock showing 24-hour time, over a whole day, how many times does a 5 appear?  Is it the same number for a 12-hour clock over a whole day?

Problem 4: Clocks in a mirror poster.

Problem 5: On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight and 7 a.m.?

Problem 6: Which segment on a digital clock is lit most each day? Which segment is lit least? Does it make any difference if it is set to 12 hours or 24 hours?

Differentiation/Extension: You could have two clocks – one in Wolverhampton and one in New York.  Show the difference in the time between the two places.  

 

 


 

Estimating Time

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Time, Estimating, Graphs and Charts

Resources needed: White or blackboard or large paper (and pens), Hat or postbox, Timer

Description: Each student estimates how many times they can crawl from one end of the room to the other in a minute.  Individually – they each put their answer on a piece of paper and put it in a hat. 

Then take out numbers out of hat one by one and plot them on a line to make a histogram.  You can do this on an interactive whiteboard, a normal whiteboard or a large piece of paper.  

Look at the results that we have from our group estimates.  What can we tell about this data?  What is the mode and median?  How can we work out the mean?  

Based on the individual estimates of the whole group, our histogram and the averages we have calculated, discuss and decide as a group what the whole class estimate is.  

Now do the activity and see how the actual number of times you can crawl from one end of the room to the other differs from the group estimate and our own individual estimates. 

Now we have some idea of how long a minute is, repeat the whole process with a different activity.

If you would rather not have students crawling around on the floor, choose a different activity that can be timed.

 

 

 


 

How Much?

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Money

Resources needed: Coin cards

Description: Using post it notes, or large coins drawn on paper, give each student a coin value.  You should have a good mix of all the different coin values – 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £2.  I suggest that you have more people with the lower denomination coins. (i.e. you need more 1p coins than £1 coins.)  

Try these two games:

1. The teacher calls out an amount of money, e.g. £1.67. Students move into space to make that amount. Try it silently.  Once the right amount of money is accumulated in the space, others sit down.

2.  Get into groups of a certain amount – e.g. 50p.  Clearly there are lots of different possible group sizes and combinations.  People that are left over, who can’t get into a group that totals 50p (the remainders), are out.  Now choose a new total – e.g. £45p.  Once students are out they can call out new group sizes.  You can also ask the children that are out to try and pick a total that will have no remainders, or which will only get one person out.

 

 

 


 

Shopping Trip

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Addition and Subtraction, Money

Resources needed: Coin cards, Objects to buy, Price labels

Description: You have:

1 x 20p

1 x 10p

4 x 5p

3 x 1p

Use people in the space to hold the coin cards.

 

Which items can you buy with the correct money?

What other totals can not be made with the money?

What generalisations can we make about the coins we have?

 

Lets change the coins we are using.  Try again.  

Change the prices. Try again.

 

Differentiation/Extension: Use much simpler coins and prices for EY

 

 


 

Scale of Fractions

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS2, KS3

Curriculum Area(s): Fractions

Resources needed: Large numbers, Ribbons

Description: Dramatic maths activity.  In drama we often use scales of emotions, where you have to pitch a certain emotion at a certain point on the scale.  For example – anger where 1 is totally at peace and 10 is livid.  Or 'age' where 1 is a baby and 10 is a 100 year old.  Well we can make this into a maths game using fractions.  So that you have a scale from 0 to 1 instead of 1-10.  And you shout out fractions to get the pupils to think how far up the scale they should be.  

NB: This also works with percentages where 0% is the bottom of the scale and 100% is the top of the scale.

Differentiation/Extension: You could extend this and differentiate so that you give each pupil a card with a different fraction on (some of which are trickier than others).  They then have to behave according to where they are on the scale and a) find others who they think are fractions with similar values (some could be exactly the same value but written in a different way – e.g. 1/3 and 2/6)  b) get into a line from 0 – 1 based on behaviour (drama skills) and then check their postions when they each reveal which fraction they are (maths skills) 

 

 


 

Corresponding Fractions and Decimals

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Fractions, Decimals, Percentages

Resources needed: Fractions, decimals and percentages ribbons, Extra ribbon, Postcards for labelling axes

Description: This is a great way to demonstrate to students what the relationships between fractions and decimals are.  Students may know that 0.25 is the same as ¼, but what is the decimal equivalent of ⅝? Or the fraction that corresponds to 0.15?

You can create this graph on paper or an interactive whiteboard, but it is fun to create it in large scale on the floor, so that students can move around the graph themselves.

If you are creating the graph on the floor, use ribbons for the axes and postcards to label them.

Create a graph with the X-axis labelled from 0 to 1 and split into decimals.  Put markers at intervals of 0.05 or 0.1.  The Y-axis also should be labelled from 0 to 1 but labelled in fractions.  You can have a discussion with the class about what fractions to split the Y-axis into.  Consider using thirds, quarters, sixths, eighths, and tenths.  But for higher ability you may wish to add more complex fractions too.

Then, using another ribbon, create a line of equivalence on the graph. This should start at the origin and go diagonally upwards and towards the right.  See diagram below.

Using the graph, you can find the equivalent decimal for fractions and vice versa.  For example, if you want to find out what ¾ is as a decimal, draw a line from ¾ on the Y-axis, to the diagonal line of equivalence, then at the point that it meets the line of equivalence, draw a line down to the X-axis. This should meet the X-axis at 0.75 – the decimal equivalent to the fraction.

Use this set up to explore the relationship between fractions and decimals.

Repeat for percentages.

 

 


 

Stations

Time needed: 15 mins

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Any

Resources needed: Stations cards

Description:

  • Olympic Pentathlon.  The teacher sets up 5 stations with 5 different maths games or activities at each one.  The children are all required to move around the stations.  The teacher can provide an Olympic style commentary to report on the progress of the ‘maths athletes’ around the room.
  • Divide children into 4 teams. Attach 4 sheets of paper pinned / bluetacked to wall. Teacher calls out a question. First member of each team runs to their sheet of paper to write down the answer. A point is scored for each correct answer. Add a bonus point for the team member who finishes writing first.

Differentiation/Extension: There are differentiated streams within the resource. Go round in pairs if you prefer.

 

 


 

Giant Venn Diagrams

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Graphs and Charts

Resources needed: Ribbons or Hoops, Postcards for Labels

Description: Create giant Venn Diagrams in your classroom, outside or in a hall using hoops or ribbons laid in circles.  You need postcards to label the hoops/circles of ribbons.

Use this set up to categorise numbers.  

E.g. 1st  circle is labeled “even numbers”, 2nd circle is labeled “multiples of 3”, 3rd circle is labeled, “triangle numbers”.

Do the circles bisect?  What numbers (on cards, or tiles) can we put in different circles?  Can we think of a number that can go in all three circles?  How about a number that is a multiple of 3 and a triangle number, but not even.  Is that possible?

What other properties of numbers can we look at?

Can we think of circles that can be shown entirely within other circles?  (e.g. ‘Numbers greater than 50’ will appear totally within ‘Numbers greater than 40’.)

Try with clocks showing different times and circles being labeled according to time rules – e.g. ‘P.M.’ or ‘between quarter past the hour and quarter to the next hour’.

Then you can create giant Venn Diagrams using students.  Label the circles with properties of the people being categorized.  E.g ‘Male’, ‘under 5 foot’, ‘name begins with a letter in the first half of the alphabet’.

 

 

 


 

Money Maze

Time needed: 20 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division, Time, Money

Resources needed: 16 money maze tiles, (or time maze cards)

Description: Set up the money maze tiles.

One person stands in top left corner and chooses a route to bottom right.  As they move they work out how much money they have. They can not go back (north or west), they must go south and east.

They remember their final total.

Another person takes a different route and sees if they can make more money.

Try again.

What is the best and worst route?

How can we make a better route?  Swap a few tiles over.

Differentiation/Extension: Use time cards instead of money.

 

 


 

Quick Quiz 1

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Any

Resources needed: Postboxes for answers, Scrap paper and pens

Description: The quiz has long been a favourite for maths lessons.  Why not make your maths quizzes more active and fun by structuring them differently?

Try this… Split the class into mixed ability groups.  Each group is given a pile of scrap paper.  Each group nominates one person from the group.  They take charge of the pen and paper.  They marks the first paper with a ‘1’ for question 1.  Then the teacher calls out the first question.  The group discusses the answer quickly and the nominated person writes their answer on the paper.  They then run across the room and post their answer into their box (or postbox).   

We then move on to the second question, a new member of the team is nominated – they write and run.  

You can choose whether team members are allowed to return to the group or if they must ‘man the postbox’ and watch the rest of the quiz.

At the end of the quiz, empty the postboxes and add up the marks.  You can give extra points for speed if you wish.  

Clearly the content of the quiz can be anything (any area of maths, or even a different subject altogether).

 

 

 


 

Quick Quiz 2 (Fiona's Game)

Time needed: 5 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Any

Resources needed: None

Description: Fiona’s game. (One child stands behind another. They share a question. The child to give correct answer first moves behind next child. The other either stays put or sits in the chair. At end ask how many have moved. Differentiate according to ability of pair)

 

 


 

Quick Quiz 3 (Millionaire)

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Any

Resources needed: None

Description: Who wants to be a millionaire.  The teacher creates appropriate and relevant questions that get progressively harder.  All children play individually or children are put into mixed ability groups.  Children or groups with incorrect answers are knocked out at each round.  The group/child left standing is the winner.

 

 

 


 

Quick Quizzes 4 

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Any

Resources needed: ball/basket

Description:

  • Ask a question to the class.  Chidren who want to answer put their hands up ready to catch.  The teacher chooses a child and throw the beanbag to them to answer the question. Then they throw it back to the teacher. 
  • Teacher asks a question.  Class writes answer on a piece of paper and throws it into a hoop or basket.  The teacher shares answers from the basket and the group can have an anonymous discussion about different answers and who thinks they are right or wrong.  Alternatively, children can write their name on the sheet as well as the answer and the teacher can choose whether to share the name or not.
  • Class votes on which answer they agree with.
  • The teacher asks a question.  Pupils write their answer and post it onto the board.  You can then see the range of answers and sort them if appropriate.  This can be anonymous.

 





 

Co-ordinate Showdown

Time needed: 25 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Shape, Angles, Space

Resources needed: Ribbons, Labels for axes, Game Cards, Drywipe battleships board

Description: Split into two teams - A and B.

Play a series of rounds of this game. You can repeat rounds with different people.  

Round 1: Speed. See how many of these co-ordinates you can stand a person on in 1 minute. [then a list of co-ordinates]. Team A plays, then Team B plays. Take 1 point for each co-ordinate you manage.

Round 2: Shape. Create a [square] with it's bottom right corner at (3,3) and with a line of symmetry in the Y-axis.  Receive 5 points for a correct answer and further bonus points for extension questions. e.g. if the top right corner was at (3,3), where would the bottom right corner be?

Round 3: Battleships. Team A takes a drywipe battleships board and plots where they will put their ships. Team B guesses using the big board to mark their guesses.  Count the number of turns it takes to complete. Swap. The winning team is the one to complete in the fewest turns. Score 15 point for winning team.

 





 

Journey Across the Stream

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Small Groups

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Investigation

Resources needed: None

Description: A fox, a hen and a bag of grain need to get to the other side of a stream. The fox and the hen can't swim. A man with a boat can take them but the boat can only hold two things as well as him. However, the fox will eat the hen if they are left on the bank together, or if they travel in the boat at the same time. Similarly, the hen will eat the grain if she is left with it or if it travels with her in the boat. How can the man carry all three safely to the other side of the stream?

What questions might we use to help students complete the task?

What extension questions, that promote HOTS, could we use for students who have finished the task?






 

Dinner Party Tables

Time needed: 20 minutes

Group size: Small Groups

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Shape, Space

 

Description:

  • Square tables seat one person on each side.
  • How many tables do you need to put together to get a table for 19 people? 
  • 3 people arrive unexpectedly - how do we seat them?
  • If we put the tables in a ring with a hole in the middle, what is the smallest number of people that could be seated this way?
  • What about other configurations of tables? 
  • What if we had two difference size of table?

 





 

Japanese Mats

Time needed: 20 minutes

Group size: Small groups/individuals/pairs

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Length/Area, Weight and Volume

Description:

  • Tatami mats help define standard sizes of japanese rooms. Floors are completely covered by these mats, which are about 3 feet by 6 feet. 
  • How many different ways can they be arranged to cover a 6 foot by 15 foot floor? 
  • Change the floor size
  • Change the mat size
  • Use two different mat sizes - how many combinations of ways can you lay out the mats? 
  • If different mat sizes cost different amounts of money, what is the cheapest way to cover the floor of a room of a certain size...

 





 

Billiard Table

Time needed: 20 minutes

Group size: Small Groups

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Length/Area, Angles

 

Description:

  • Our funny billiard table measures 3 units by 4 units. It has a pocket in each of its four corners.
  • If I roll a ball from one corner at an angle of 45 degrees, how many bounces will it do before it goes into a pocket? (for the purposes of this investigation, please assume that there is no friction so the ball keeps bouncing until it goes in a pocket).
  • Change the size of the table. How many bounces does it take now? Repeat with other size tables
  • Can you see any patterns between the table size and the number of bounces?

 


 

Paved Pathway

Time needed: 20 minutes

Group size: Small Groups

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Description: 

  • The pathway from the pavement to my front door is paved with square slabs. It is three slabs wide and ten slabs long. If I walk on the lines between the slabs, how many different routes will take me to my front door? (I cannot walk back towards the pavement).
  • How many different routes are there if my pathway is 4 x 10? or 5 x 10.
  • Do we notice any patterns?

 

 

 


 

Body Investigations

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Small Groups

Suitable for: KS2, KS3

Curriculum Area(s): Ratio/Proportion, Multiplication and Division, Length/Area

Resources needed: Tape measures, Rulers, Scrap paper/newspaper, Scissors, Marker pens

Description: Estimate how many times your skin area is greater than the area of the sole of your foot. (Draw round body on floor and foot) - should be about 100 times. (Hospitals used to use measure foot area on burns victims to estimate the total area of a burn and thus give correct dose of medicine.)

  • Leonardo da Vinci found lots of connections between body measurements. eg, stretch out arms and measure distance between middle fingers (your fathom)
  • Compare with height (should be the same)
  • Measure cubit (elbow to middle finger) compare with palm (wrist to middle finger).
  • How do we write down our findings in terms of ratio?
  • Lovely cross-curricular (art) activity: Half sized class. Children work in pairs measuring the length of arms, legs, body etc (more parts for more able children). Divide each measurement in half and cut strips of paper to the correct length. Stick on to large paper. Half sized class of half sized people!

 

 

 


 

Men and Sheep

Time needed: 20 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Length/Area, Graphs and Charts

Resources needed: 3 blank ribbons, 2 postcards to label axis 'D' and 'T', OR a blackboard/whiteboard and chalk/markers

Description: A sheep stands in the middle of the space - use a person for the sheep.  

Then introduce a man into the space.  

Draw the Y-Axis only of a graph on the board or create a graph on the other side of the space on the floor using ribbons and postcards to represent the distance (D) of the man from the sheep on the Y-axis. Don't put the X-axis in at this point.

Put the man at different points - the group decides where on the distance scale each point falls to give the group an idea of how the y-axis works.

Then introduce the Time spend in the field (T) on the X-axis.

Set up a graph that has a straight line at a fixed distance (fixed value on the Y-Axis) (so the line is parallel to the X-axis.

Differentiation/Extension: What would happen if we have two people in the space?  How can we show this on the graph?  What else can we show? 

 

 


 

Villages

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Pairs

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Distance/Speed, Time

 

Description: In pairs...

A and B live in different villages.

Both villages are 9 kilometres away from the nearest market.

A rides her bike at 6 kilometres per hour and B rides his

at 4 kilometres an hour.

They both want to arrive at the market at exactly noon.

What time should each of them start riding?

Work this out in pairs.  How did you work it out?  What method did you employ?

How can you differentiate this exercise for the age/ability that you teach?

How can you extend this activity? Make it into an investigation?

Discuss in pairs and then as a whole group.

 

 


 

Flying

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Pairs

Suitable for: EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

Description: A bird flew north for 20 minutes, north-west for 50 minutes, then south for 20 minutes.

The bird keeps flying at about the same speed.

For how long, and in what direction, would the bird have to fly to return to its starting point?

Work this out in pairs.  How did you work it out?  What method did you employ?

How can you differentiate this exercise for the age/ability that you teach?

How can you extend this activity? Make it into an investigation?

Discuss in pairs and then as a whole group.

 

 

 


 

Handshakes

Time needed: 20 minutes

Group size: Small groups

Suitable for: KS3, KS4

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers

 

Description:

  • There are 5 people in a group.  If everyone shakes hands with everyone else once, how many handshakes will there be in total?  How can we work this out?  
  • Change the number of people.  Try 2 people, then 3, 4,  6 etc.  How are we going to do this methodically?  Can they see a pattern?  Predict 7 and check it.  
  • If they have worked out a pattern (or equation). Can they work out how many handshakes there would be for 10, 100, 1000 people theoretically?

For 10 people

9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 45

OR  (9 x 10) ÷ 2 = 45

 

 


 

Swapping

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for: KS2, KS3

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers

Resources needed: None

Description:

  • Arrange children in a row. Alternate those with/without tie [or something different eg. coloured bands ]. Children next to each other can swap places. How many swaps does it take to have all the children with ties together and all the non-tie children together? 
  • What if we had more children? 
  • What if more children had ties than no ties? Can they predict what will be the outcome?

 

 

 


 

Roll Up!

Time needed: 15 minutes

Group size: Full class

Suitable for:  EY, KS1, KS2, KS3, FS

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers, Addition and Subtraction, Money, Graphs and Charts,

Resources needed: Balls, beanbags, hoops, buckets etc., Pretend money, Score cards, Hint of costume for stall holders (fingerless gloves)?

Description: Set up a selection of aiming/catching games around the room (1 per group). Children move around the games in their groups like a carousel. They each have a selection of coins and have to pay the correct amount for their game. (Easy to differentiate with giving change etc)  Stall holder shouts "Roll up" and children come and pay for their go. Each cone/net/catch/goal etc is worth so many points. They must keep a running score of their totals, adding them up as they go. You could reverse this idea - they start with a number and on one stall they multiply, one they divide, one they add etc.

Differentiation/Extension: Experiment with different ways of presenting the results of the class in active ways - e.g. human graph (see below) 

 

 


 

Number Investigation

Time needed: 10 minutes

Group size: Individuals

Suitable for: KS1, KS2

Curriculum Area(s): Numbers

Resources needed: Variety of resources - or time to find their own resources from their classrooms...

Description: Choose any two odd numbers and one even number, such as 3, 5 and 2.

How would you like to represent these numbers?

Try adding them together and draw/make the representation of their sum.

What do you notice about the answer?

Look closely at your model.

Would it work in exactly the same way if you used different numbers but still two odds and one even?

Can you use your example to prove what will happen every time you add two odd numbers and one even number?

See if you can explain this to someone else. Are they convinced by your argument?

Once you can convince someone else, see if you can find a way to show the argument on paper. You might draw something or take a photo of things you have used to prove that your result is always true from your example.

 

 

 


 

Other Investigations

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, FS

 

Description:

  • Planning a country dance with reflections/rotations etc and creating a notation for it - passing it to another group who learn the notation, note the transformations and learn the dance.
  • Design a playground. Consider space between equipment, budgeting, cost of equipment, number of children...
  • Design an underground train system for a town/city. Where do you choose to put the lines? Where will lines cross? If it costs £10,000 per 100 metres of line, what is the most cost effective network to create that accesses as much of the city as possible?
  • Create a frisbee golf course in the school grounds. Frisbee Golf involves throwing a frisbee into a bin or hoop from a set distance, often between 10 and 100 metres away. The object of the game is to throw the frisbee into the ‘hole' in as few ‘strokes' as possible. Students must read a map of the school grounds, plan the course, measure length of holes, create scale plans, determine the par of each hole, create a system for scoring the game and create a score card