# best mental oral starters

Discussion in 'Primary' started by slippeddisc, Mar 5, 2009.

1. ### slippeddiscNew commenter

I am looking for some new mental oral starter ideas. Could we start a good list.
1. My favourite is the mystery number boys vs girls challenge.
I write down a mystery number and tell them what number it is between e.g. it is between 0 and 100. They then have to use correct vocabulary to ask questions to work it out e.g. is it odd, even, is it a mutliple of __, Is it greater than __ etc. They love it because they want to beat the others, particualrly because it is boys vs girls.

Anyone else?

2. ### slippeddiscNew commenter

I am looking for some new mental oral starter ideas. Could we start a good list.
1. My favourite is the mystery number boys vs girls challenge.
I write down a mystery number and tell them what number it is between e.g. it is between 0 and 100. They then have to use correct vocabulary to ask questions to work it out e.g. is it odd, even, is it a mutliple of __, Is it greater than __ etc. They love it because they want to beat the others, particualrly because it is boys vs girls.

Anyone else?

3. ### red_rum

Obvious favourites with the kids in my class :
Bingo
odd one out
Interactive White board games
Maths Hangman - number sequences/ calculation/mathematical vocab

4. ### Terargram

What is the answer? I write down a number on IWB for example 24 and children try and think of as many different questions that will give that answer.

5. ### slippeddiscNew commenter

Thanks for those. Any others?
What is odd one out. Show numbers and see which is the odd one out and why?
Does anyone have any for time, money, data handling, shape etc.

My class also like round the world but it seems to leave a lot of the class doing very little for a long time.

Table facts:

Thanks.

9. ### srobert

I like the one where you roll a dice and the children have to enter the number on to a grid(either pre-prepared or on a whiteboard) which is set up as a HTU add HTU number for example. They hae to decide where to put the digit and of course you are looking for: the highest total or lowest total or highest odd number/ even number etc the possibilities are endless. Other operation etc can be used. They really have to think about place value and property of number not to mention thinking about the pobability of which numbers may come up next when taking a chance on waiting for a high or low number etc.

10. ### Sararie

For estimation: a strip of card with a dot at one end and a paperclip on the top, say that the dot is zero and the end of the card is whatever you want it to be, 10, 100, 10000, 56 whatever! Ask the children to estimate where a certain number is and then tell their partner why they thought it was there and what strategies they used for estimation - I then ask the partner to tell me what the original child said. Very good speaking and listening happens.

A variation of Carol Vorderman's countdown maths game works well - if you have a smartboard then it has a random number generator that you can use to get your target number. Spent a whole lesson on this last week as children got really into it..were using fantastic mental strategies. I did have to explain though that you can 'make numbers' from other ones and then multiply them etc but worked great.

11. ### slippeddiscNew commenter

Thanks. I used to use countdown and it did work well. Another one I can revisit!
I've got a little stuck in my ways and have forgotten all the good things I used to do!

Thanks.

12. ### wellingtonbootNew commenter

The Dustbin game - a variation of #8, where children draw a dustbin box alongside their HTU or whatever grid. The dice is thrown 4 times for a HTU grid, instead of 3, and children have to throw away one of the digits instead of placing it in their grid - but can't change their mind later. You can also make decimal, fraction and money amounts...
Who am I? - A post-it note with a number is stuck to a child's back (or placed on a band worn round the head) and they have to guess what the number is, either by asking the class questions or by being given clues by the class.
Another One Bites the Dust - two teams, one whiteboard pen per team (different colours). Write several sums of the type you wish to practise on the board. The first player from each team comes up to the board, writes in the answer to one sum, then returns and passes the pen onto the next player and so on. The team who manages to answer the most questions within a time limit (the time it takes to play Queen's Another One Bites the Dust) wins. You could get each player to write a new sum up each time for the other team to answer, or just keep adding more sums as they use up what is on the board.