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Year 1 Maths Mental-Oral Starters – FREE

Ruth Merttens By Ruth Merttens

Get your maths lesson going with a bang!

There are 48 starters – 4 per week plus a bank of 12 ‘Fun-Fair Friday’ tests.
They are categorised under Key Skills – see below.
In general, the starters further down each group's list get slightly harder.
Starters with an E at the end of the download filename are easier.

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Counting on and back in ones and tens

Children count on or back in ones, being able to say a missing number in a count, or the next number (one more) or the number before (one less) than any given number. They also rehearse counting on and back in tens from any 1-digit or 2-digit number. It is important that children recognise the pattern in counting in tens, and, specifically, that they understand that the ones digit does not change when we count in tens.

Downloads: Count on and back in 1s (6) | Count on and back in 10s (6)


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Exploring place value
Partitioning in 10s and 1s, comparing and ordering

Children partition 2-digit numbers into tens and ones. This involves reading and saying numbers aloud, then writing place value additions to represent recombining the parts – including money amounts in 10ps and 1ps. Children compare two or three numbers and place them in order. They complete missing numbers on a 1-100 number grid.

Downloads: 2-digit place value (6) | Make and compare numbers to 100 (6)


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Addition and subtraction
Number bonds and pairs, unit patterns in +/-

Children rehearse number bonds and pairs of numbers adding to 7, 8, 9 and 10. Some starters focus largely on bonds to 10. They recognise and identify unit patterns, using these to develop fluency in mental addition and subtraction.

Downloads: Number bonds and pairs (6) | Unit patterns in addition and subtraction (6)


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Getting to know multiples
Practise counting in 2s, 5s and 10s

Each starter combines practice of ‘clever counting’ in steps of 2, 5 and 10. In this way, children begin to recognise patterns of multiples and to rehearse tables facts. To encourage application of digit patterns, counts may go forward or back and beyond the 12th multiple.

Downloads: Getting to know multiples (6)


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Doubling and halving
Doubling numbers to double 6 and halving even numbers to 12

Children rehearse known facts, e.g. double 3 is 6 and half of 8 is 4. They need to ensure fluency, recognising doubles of numbers up to 6, and identifying numbers that are therefore easy to halve, such as 12.

Downloads: Doubling and halving numbers (2)


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Money, coin recognition, and telling the time

Children look at the full range of coins and practise swift and confident identification. They rehearse telling and making times to the hour on analogue clocks.

Downloads: Coin recognition (2) | Telling the time (2)


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Testing children’s basic skills rehearsed in Starters

The tests each have ten questions and are fun to do as children compete not against each other, but against their PB (personal best). Each week, they see where they have got to on the Fun-Fair Height Chart – which rides will they be able to do?
Choose a test to fit the Starters you have done this week. Download the Tests Overview to make your choice.