Free creative teaching resource – maths magic

Use this magical mental maths activity to motivate pupils into playing with numbers. Once hooked, they will want to try the method out again and again.

Mystify your friends by always knowing the number they thought of.

Ask your friend to follow the steps carefully.

  • Think of a number
  • Add 10
  • Multiply by 2
  • Subtract 5
  • Add 3
  • Add the number you first thought of
  • Divide by 3
  • Tell me your answer

You can always work out their first number quickly by subtracting 6.

They will be amazed!

This fun activity can be found, along with many more to spark an enthusiasm for mathematics and numbers, in How to be Brilliant at Mental Arithmetic. The mathematical problems in the book address the twin pillars of mental arithmetic – mental recall and mental agility. Mental recall depends on familiarity with number bonds and plenty of opportunity to practise. Mental agility depends more on confidence with the number system and the four operations.


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Filed under Key Stage, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, National Curriculum, Teaching Ideas

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