This resource can be a Smartboard file or a document you print off. You have a target number displayed in the centre and have a variety of number sentences surrounding this.
The aim is for children to answer each problem on their whiteboards.
I have found that children need regular practice at solving simple mental calculations in order to keep their knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division fresh in their minds. This resource can be adapted easily in order to tackle different mental calculations across the primary stage and can be completed by children independently at the start of the day or as part of a mental/oral starter.
What I did:
I displayed the Smartboard file and set the students a target number or (today’s number). They then had to answer questions related to that number. For example
Could this activity be done in pairs as well as individually?
The children answered each of these questions on their whiteboards. When I felt they had had sufficient time I stopped them and asked for the answers from individuals.
You can change the difficulty level of the questions and the types of questions you ask depending on the age group.
How could I differentiate this activity to challenge higher attainers and support lower attainers? Perhaps give 2 numbers or allow some to choose a number?
This activity is really easy to set up and is a great resource for using at the start of the day when the children first enter the classroom. You can adapt the resource for different abilities and all children can access in their own way depending on their level. I was easily able to target my questioning by asking specific children to tell me their answers and how they worked it out, thus identifying any misconceptions or difficulties. Since using this resource I have noticed an improvement in the speed of students’ mental recall especially with many of my lower attaining children.