Problem Solving Starters:Add 'em: Add up a sequence of consecutive numbers. Can you find a quick way to do it? All for 100: Can you write an ex Area Two: How many different shapes with an area of 2 square units can you make by joining dots on this grid with straight lines? Bizarre Triangle: By how much would the area of this triangle increase if its base was enlarged to 8cm? Boxing Day: Work out the contents and the cost of the Christmas boxes from the given clues Broken Calculator: Use only the 1, 5 and 0 keys on a calculator to make given totals. Calculator Nim: A game in which players take turns to add a singledigit number to what is already in the calculator. The winner is the player who makes the display show 30. Cars: Calculate the total cost of four cars from the information given. ChinUps: Work out the number of chin ups the characters do on the last day of the week give information about averages. Christmas Presents: Work out the total cost of five Christmas presents from the information given. ClockEquate: Can you use the digits on the left of this clock along with any mathematical operations to equal the digits on the right? Coins On The Table: A puzzle about the number of coins on a table given information about fractions of them. Consecutive: Three consecutive numbers multiplied together give a given product. Pupils are asked to figure out what the numbers are. Consecy Brothers: Which three consecutive numbers multiplied together give the given answer. Cracked Clock: How did the clock break if the numbers on each of the pieces added up to the same total? Cube Calendar: What numbers should be on each face of the two cubes to make this perpetual calendar? Dice Nets: Determine whether the given nets would fold to produce a dice. Digivide: Arrange the digits 1 to 6 to make a three digit number divided by a two digit number giving a one digit answer. Family Buses: Fit families onto eleven seater buses without splitting up the families. Faulty Button: Find out which of the calculator keys is faulty from the given information. A mathematical puzzle requiring good problem solving strategies. For Thought: Add up the answers to the four real life questions. Four Gone: An activity involving a broken calculator which is missing the four button. Can you evaluate the given expressions without using the four? Four to Seven: Which of the numbers from one to twenty can you make with the digits 4, 5, 6 and 7? Four's Independence: A clock face containing only the number 4. Can you make a clock face containing any other single number? Freemason's Cipher: Find symmetric words in this ancient cipher. Giraffe: The height of this giraffe is three and a half metres plus half of its height. How tall is the giraffe? Handshakes: If all the students in this room shook hands with each other, how many handshakes would there be altogether? Hole in One: If six girls can plant 90 trees in a day. How many trees can ten girls plant in a day? The unitary method. How Do You Do?: A little lateral thinking will help you solve this number puzzle. How Many Triangles? 1: How many Triangles can you find in the diagram? How Many Triangles? 2: How many triangles are hidden in the pattern? What strategy might you use to count them all to ensure you don't miss any out? How Many Triangles? 3: Find a systematic way of counting the number of triangles in the given diagram. Justundera Quid: Find a word whose letters would cost exactly ninety nine pence. Largest Product: Arrange the numbers to produce the largest product. Letter Clue Calculations: Work out what the calculations might be from the letter clues. Light Shopping: A lamp and a bulb together cost 32 pounds. The lamp costs 30 pounds more than the bulb. How much does the bulb cost? Match Fish: A classic matchstick puzzle designed to challenge your spacial awareness. Missing digits: Work out what the missing digits in the calculations are. Missing Pound: A puzzle about a restaurant bill. Exactly where did the missing pound go? Nine Digit Sum: Arrange the digits one to nine to make a correct addition calculation. Nine Nine Nine: Arrange the numbers 19 to make three 3 digit numbers that add up to 999. Not Too Close: This activity, sometimes known as 'Keep Your Distance' requires eight students to sit non consecutively on a grid of chairs. One Digit 100: How many ways can you write an expression for 100 which only uses the same digit repeated and any operations? One Torch Tunnel: Work out the least amount of time for four people to walk through a tunnel? Peanuts and Buttons: Two questions involving estimating a quantity. Pentadd: Five numbers are added together in pairs and the sums shown. What might the five numbers be? Plane Numbers: Arrange numbers on the plane shaped grid to produce the given totals Pyramid Puzzle: Arrange numbers at the bottom of the pyramid which will give the largest total at the top. Rabbits and Chickens: There are some rabbits and chickens in a field. Calculate how many of each given the number of heads and feet. Rail Weigh: Record the weights of the trains to work out the weight of a locomotive and a coach. A real situation which produces simultaneous equations. Render Digitful: Find a calculation for the current year which uses all of the digits 1 to 9. Roundabout: Go around the roundabout performing each of the operations. Which starting point gives the largest answer? Rows of Roses: Can you draw 4 straight lines, without taking your pencil off the paper, which pass through all 9 roses? Santa's Sleigh: Work out the number of clowns and horses given the number of heads and feet. Sea Shells: A question which can be best answered by using algebra. Shadow Sums: Make sums from the three digit numbers given. Shunting Problem: Allow two trains to pass by using the limited amount of siding space. Siam Symbols: Can you work out what each of the strange symbols represents? Simple Nim: The classic game of Nim played with a group of pens and pencils. The game can be extended to the multipile version. Simultaneous Occasions: A problem which can best be solved as a pair of simultaneous equations. Six Discrimination: An activity involving a calculator which is missing the six button. Can you evaluate the given expressions without using the six? Small Satisfaction: Arrange the digits one to nine in the grid so that they obey the row and column headings. Snowman and Woman: How many different ways can you spell out the word "Snowman" by moving from snowflake to snowflake. Spinsum: Arrange the numbers on the grid of squares so that the totals along each line of three squares are equal. Square and Even: Arrange the numbers on the cards so that each of the three digit numbers formed horizontally are square numbers and each of the three digit numbers formed vertically are even. Square Pairs: Arrange the numbered trees so that adjacent sums are square numbers. Squared Animals: Separate three rows of three animals using three squares. Stair Perimeter: Use the information implied in the diagram to calculate the perimeter of this shape Stencils: Which of the coloured stencils will fit over the numbered card to produce correct calculations? Step Perimeter: Is it possible to work out the perimeter of this shape if the lengths of all the sides are not given? Suko: Interactive numberbased logic puzzle similar to those featuring in The Times and Telegraph newspapers. Sum of the Signs: Each traffic sign stands for a number. Some of the sums of rows and columns are shown. What numbers might the signs stand for? Sum Square: Arrange the numbers one to eight into the calculations to make the totals correct.. Team Age: Work out who is in which team from the information given. Texting: A code breaking exercise based on the use of predictive text. Tindice: How can you put the dice into the tins so that there is an odd number of dice in each tin? Tran's Hats: In how many different ways might Tran decide to wear his hats in one week? Two Twins and Tim: A tricky problem set on a coordinate grid. Unmagic Square: Arrange the numbers 1 to 9 in a 3 by 3 grid so that none of the line totals are the same. Word Sum: Each letter stands for a different digit. Can you make sense of word sum? Advanced Problem Solving Starters
Small images of these Starters    Complete Index of Starters
Feedback:Comment recorded on the 19 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Nikki Jordan, Braunton School, Devon: "Excellent. Thank you very much for a fabulous set of starters. I use the 'weekenders' if the daily ones are not quite what I want. Brilliant and much appreciated." Comment recorded on the 9 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Jan, South Canterbury: "Thank you for sharing such a great resource. I was about to try and get together a bank of starters but time is always required elsewhere, so thank you." Comment recorded on the 1 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Phil Anthony, Head of Maths, Stourport High School: "What a brilliant website. We have just started to use the 'starteroftheday' in our yr9 lessons to try them out before we change from a high school to a secondary school in September. This is one of the best resources online we have found. The kids and staff love it. Well done an thank you very much for making my maths lessons more interesting and fun." Comment recorded on the 25 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Inger.kisby@herts and essex.herts.sch.uk, : "We all love your starters. It is so good to have such a collection. We use them for all age groups and abilities. Have particularly enjoyed KIM's game, as we have not used that for Mathematics before. Keep up the good work and thank you very much Comment recorded on the 26 March 'Starter of the Day' page by Julie Reakes, The English College, Dubai: "It's great to have a starter that's timed and focuses the attention of everyone fully. I told them in advance I would do 10 then record their percentages." Comment recorded on the 12 July 'Starter of the Day' page by Miss J Key, Farlingaye High School, Suffolk: "Thanks very much for this one. We developed it into a whole lesson and I borrowed some hats from the drama department to add to the fun!" Comment recorded on the 14 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Inger Kisby, Herts and Essex High School: "Just a quick note to say that we use a lot of your starters. It is lovely to have so many different ideas to start a lesson with. Thank you very much and keep up the good work." Comment recorded on the 5 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Stoner, St George's College of Technology: "This resource has made a great deal of difference to the standard of starters for all of our lessons. Thank you for being so creative and imaginative." Comment recorded on the 28 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Malcolm P, Dorset: "A set of real life savers!! Comment recorded on the 9 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Jones, Wales: "I think that having a starter of the day helps improve maths in general. My pupils say they love them!!!" Comment recorded on the 6 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Natalie, London: "I am thankful for providing such wonderful starters. They are of immence help and the students enjoy them very much. These starters have saved my time and have made my lessons enjoyable." Comment recorded on the 14 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Trish Bailey, Kingstone School: "This is a great memory aid which could be used for formulae or key facts etc  in any subject area. The PICTURE is such an aid to remembering where each number or group of numbers is  my pupils love it! Comment recorded on the 10 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Carol, Sheffield PArk Academy: "3 NQTs in the department, I'm new subject leader in this new academy  Starters R Great!! Lovely resource for stimulating learning and getting eveyone off to a good start. Thank you!!" Comment recorded on the 8 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Smith, West Sussex, UK: "I am an NQT and have only just discovered this website. I nearly wet my pants with joy. Comment recorded on the 18 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs. Peacock, Downe House School and Kennet School: "My year 8's absolutely loved the "Separated Twins" starter. I set it as an optional piece of work for my year 11's over a weekend and one girl came up with 3 independant solutions." Comment recorded on the 10 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mike Sendrove, Salt Grammar School, UK.: "A really useful set of resources  thanks. Is the collection available on CD? Are solutions available?" Comment recorded on the 24 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Ruth Seward, Hagley Park Sports College: "Find the starters wonderful; students enjoy them and often want to use the idea generated by the starter in other parts of the lesson. Keep up the good work" Comment recorded on the 2 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Angela Lowry, : "I think these are great! So useful and handy, the children love them. Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by S Mirza, Park High School, Colne: "Very good starters, help pupils settle very well in maths classroom." Comment recorded on the 17 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Hall, Light Hall School, Solihull: "Dear Transum, Comment recorded on the 17 November 'Starter of the Day' page by Amy Thay, Coventry: "Thank you so much for your wonderful site. I have so much material to use in class and inspire me to try something a little different more often. I am going to show my maths department your website and encourage them to use it too. How lovely that you have compiled such a great resource to help teachers and pupils. Comment recorded on the 21 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Trainor And His P7 Class(All Girls), Mercy Primary School, Belfast: "My Primary 7 class in Mercy Primary school, Belfast, look forward to your mental maths starters every morning. The variety of material is interesting and exciting and always engages the teacher and pupils. Keep them coming please." Comment recorded on the 1 February 'Starter of the Day' page by M Chant, Chase Lane School Harwich: "My year five children look forward to their daily challenge and enjoy the problems as much as I do. A great resource  thanks a million." Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs Johnstone, 7Je: "I think this is a brilliant website as all the students enjoy doing the puzzles and it is a brilliant way to start a lesson." Comment recorded on the 9 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Liz, Kuwait: "I would like to thank you for the excellent resources which I used every day. My students would often turn up early to tackle the starter of the day as there were stamps for the first 5 finishers. We also had a lot of fun with the fun maths. All in all your resources provoked discussion and the students had a lot of fun." Comment recorded on the 28 May 'Starter of the Day' page by L Smith, Colwyn Bay: "An absolutely brilliant resource. Only recently been discovered but is used daily with all my classes. It is particularly useful when things can be saved for further use. Thank you!" Comment recorded on the 1 February 'Starter of the Day' page by Terry Shaw, Beaulieu Convent School: "Really good site. Lots of good ideas for starters. Use it most of the time in KS3." Comment recorded on the 11 January 'Starter of the Day' page by S Johnson, The King John School: "We recently had an afternoon on accelerated learning.This linked really well and prompted a discussion about learning styles and short term memory." Comment recorded on the 19 October 'Starter of the Day' page by E Pollard, Huddersfield: "I used this with my bottom set in year 9. To engage them I used their name and favorite football team (or pop group) instead of the school name. For homework, I asked each student to find a definition for the key words they had been given (once they had fun trying to guess the answer) and they presented their findings to the rest of the class the following day. They felt really special because the key words came from their own personal information." Comment recorded on the 1 August 'Starter of the Day' page by Peter Wright, St Joseph's College: "Love using the Starter of the Day activities to get the students into Maths mode at the beginning of a lesson. Lots of interesting discussions and questions have arisen out of the activities. 
Notes:What good is being a master of calculation if you cannot apply your skills to problem solving? This topic provides lots of examples, activities and situations in which pupils can practise their problem solving skills. Problem Solving Teacher Resources:Countdown: How close can you get to the target by making a calculation out of the five numbers given? Icecream Combinations: How many twoscoop ice creams can you make from the given flavours? Satisfaction: This is quite a challenging number grouping puzzle requiring a knowledge of prime, square and triangular numbers. Word Sums Guide: A step by step guide showing how to solve a Word Sum where each letter stands for a different digit. Problem Solving Activities:Area and Perimeter of a Rectangle: Questions on the areas and perimeters of rectangles which will test your problem solving abilities. Area Maze: Use your knowledge of rectangle areas to calculate the missing measurement of these composite diagrams. Area Wall Puzzles: Divide the grid into rectangular pieces so that the area of each piece is the same as the number it contains. Arithmagons: An extensive collection of Arithmagons arranged in levels according to their features. Find the missing numbers in these online, selfchecking exercises and discover the wonders of Arithmagons. Bidmaze: Find your way through the maze encountering mathematical operations in the correct order to achieve the given total. Brainbox: A puzzle requiring the arrangement of numbers on the function machines to link the given input numbers to the correct output. Broken Calculator: Some of the buttons are missing from this calculator. Can you make the totals from 1 to 20? Car Park Puzzle: Can you get your car out of the very crowded car park by moving other cars forwards or backwards? Centexpression: Arrange the numbers from 1 to 9 to make an expression with a value of 100. Clue Sudoku: A different way to complete a Sudoku puzzle with clues available at every stage. Code Cracker: Crack the code by replacing the encrypted letters in the given text. There are lots of hints provided about code breaking techniques. Consecutive Numbers: Find the consective numbers that are added or multiplied to give the given totals Cracked Clock Quiz: A self marking set of ten mathematical questions about a clock which cracked! Digivide: Arrange the numbers from 1 to 6 in the spaces to make the division calculation correct. Divisive: Arrange the digits one to nine on the spaces provided to make two division calculations containing multiples of three. Dominoes Puzzle: Arrange the dominoes in seven squares. The number of dots along each side of the square must be equal to the number in the middle FleurDeLis: Click on six fleurdelis to leave an even number in each row and column. Go Figure: Arrange the digits one to nine to make the four calculations correct. Green Fingers: Choose the amount of liquid from each bottle needed to make the watermelon grow as big as possible. How Many of Each?: Work out how many items were bought from the information given. How Many Triangles?: A self marking step by step approach to calculating the number of triangles in a design. Icecream Combinations: How many twoscoop ice creams can you make from the given flavours? Jugs: Can you make 4 litres if you only have 7 and 5 litre jugs? Largest Product: A drag and drop activity challenging you to arrange the digits to produce the largest possible product. Ludicross: Arrange the given numbers on the cross so that the sum of the numbers in both diagonals is the same. Magic Square: Each row, column and diagonal should produce the same sum. Mine Find: Find where the mines are hidden without stepping on one. Mixpressions: Arrange the cards to create a valid mathematical statement. Multistep Problems: Solve multistep problems in contexts, deciding which operations and methods to use and why. Nine Nine Nine: Use the digits 1 to 9 to make three 3 digit numbers which add up to 999. Not Too Close: The students numbered 1 to 8 should sit on the chairs so that no two consecutively numbered students sit next to each other. Number Jigsaws: Online, interactive jigsaw puzzles of grids of numbers. Numskull: Interactive, randomlygenerated, numberbased logic puzzle designed to develop numeracy skills. One Digit Only: Find expressions using only one digit which equal the given targets. One Torch Tunnel: Solve the problem of getting four people through a tunnel with one torch in the minimum amount of time. Pentadd Quiz: Find the five numbers which when added or multiplied together in pairs to produce the given sums or products. Pentominoes: Arrange the twelve pentominoes in the outline of a rectangle. Pick Up Sticks: If you were to pick up the sticks from this pile so that you were always removing the top stick what calculation would you create? Plane Numbers: Arrange numbers on the plane shaped grid to produce the given totals Plus: A number arranging puzzle with seven levels of challenge. Polygon Pieces: Arrange the nine pieces of the puzzle on the grid to make the given polygon. Prime Square: Drag the numbers into the red cells so that the sum of the three numbers in each row and each column is a prime number. Puzzle Cube Net: A jumbled movingblock puzzle cube is shown as a net. Can you solve it? Pyramid Puzzle: Numbers in the bricks are found by adding the two bricks immediately below together. Can you achieve the given target? River Crossing: The traditional River Crossing challenge. Can you do it in the smallest number of moves? Roman Numerals Jigsaw: An online interactive jigsaw puzzle of a grid of Roman numerals. Satisfaction: This is quite a challenging number grouping puzzle requiring a knowledge of prime, square and triangular numbers. Satisfy: Place the nine numbers in the table so they obey the row and column headings. Scheduling Puzzle: Make a schedule for the 24hour Darts Marathon which will keep everyone happy! Sheep Herding: Arrange the sheep in the field according to the instructions. An introduction to loci. Shunting Puzzles: Move the trams to their indicated parking places in the shunting yard as quickly as possible. Six Discrimination: The six button has dropped off! How could these calculations be done using this calculator? Spinsum: Arrange the numbers on the squares so that the totals along each line of three squares are equal. Square and Even: Arrange the numbers on the cards so that each of the three digit numbers formed horizontally are square numbers and each of the three digit numbers formed vertically are even. Squorder: The Transum version of the traditional sliding tile puzzle. Stable Scales: Ten balance puzzles to prepare you for solving equations. Stamp Sticking: Drag stamps onto the envelopes to make the exact postage as shown at the top left of each envelope. Suko Sujiko: Interactive numberbased logic puzzles similar to those featuring in daily newspapers. T Puzzle: Use the pieces of the T puzzle to fit into the outlines provided. Tangram Table: Use the pieces of the tangram puzzle to make the basic shapes then complete the table showing which shapes are possible. Tantrum: A game, a puzzle and a challenge involving counters being placed at the corners of a square on a grid. The Miller's Puzzle: This is an interactive version of the puzzle described by Henry Ernest Dudeney in The Canterbury Puzzles Thrice: Can you arrange all of the counters on the grid to form 10 lines of three counters? Tools: In how many different ways can the numbers be arranged to give the same totals? Tower of Hanoi: Move the pieces of the tower from one place to another in the minimum number of moves. Tran Towers: An adventure game requiring students to solve puzzles as they move through the old mansion. Tran Tunnels: An adventure game requiring you to answer questions and solve puzzles as you move through the tunnels. Unitary Method: Ten questions which can be solved using the unitary method. Unmagic Square: Like the magic square but all of the totals should be different. Where's Wallaby?: Find the hidden wallaby using the clues revealed at the chosen coordinates. Window View: Drag the 20 flowers into the gardens so that 9 flowers are visible from each window of the house. Xmas Presents: Work out the cost of the Christmas presents from the information given. Finally there is Topic Test, a set of 10 randomly chosen, multiple choice questions suggested by people from around the world. Problem Solving Investigations:Aunt Sophie's Post Office: Investigate the ways of making up various postage amounts using 3p and 8p stamps. An online stamp calculator is provided for you to check your working. Braille: Investigate the possibility of redesigning the Braille alphabet to make it easier to learn. You will first need to examine the current version and learn how it is used. Crossing the River: Two men and two boys want to cross a river and they only have one canoe which will only hold one man or two boys. Green Fingers: Choose the amount of liquid from each bottle needed to make the watermelon grow as big as possible. How Many Rectangles?: Investigate the number of rectangles on a grid of squares. What strategies will be useful in coming up with the answer? Jugs: Can you make 4 litres if you only have 7 and 5 litre jugs? Search for Infinity: Manipulate the Lissajou curve to produce a perfectly symmetrical (vertically and horizontally) infinity symbol. Tantrum: A game, a puzzle and a challenge involving counters being placed at the corners of a square on a grid. Tower of Hanoi: Move the pieces of the tower from one place to another in the minimum number of moves. Window View: Drag the 20 flowers into the gardens so that 9 flowers are visible from each window of the house. Problem Solving Videos:Problems with Zero: Dividing by zero, zero divided by zero and zero to the power of zero  all pose problems! Puzzles In The Simpsons: The Simpson's 26th season finale. 'Mathlete's Feat' is full of mathematical problems that Presh solves. The Train Fly Problem: This video from Mind Your Decisions teaches a trick so you can solve the puzzle quickly. Problem Solving Worksheets/Printables:How Many Rectangles?: A worksheet containing many copies of the How Many Rectangles Starter diagram allowing students to record their findings. How Many Squares? 1: A printable grid containing many copies of the design used in the shape counting Starter. How Many Squares? 2: A printable grid containing many copies of the design used in the second shape counting Starter. Lemon Law Worksheet: Can you find the solution to these Lemon Law challenges using a spreadsheet? Line Drawings: Six line drawings that may or may not be able to be traced without lifting the pencil or going over any line twice. Missing Operations Worksheet: Each red box represents a missing operation (plus, minus, times or divide). Can you work out what they are? Pyramid Worksheet: Put the numbers 1 to 5 in the bottom row of the pyramid then each other brick is the sum of the two below. Tools Worksheet: A worksheet containing the grids to fill in for the Tools puzzles. Two Twins Printable: This worksheet extends the puzzle in the July 21st Starter of the Day. Problem Solving External Links:Links to other websites containing resources for Problem Solving are provided for those logged into 'Transum Mathematics'. 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