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Year 2 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, as they revisit Y1 skills.

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Counting on and back in 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, and 3s

Children count on or back in 1s, being able to say the next number (one more) or the number before (one less) than any given number. They also rehearse counting in steps of 2, 5, 10 and 3. Counting in twos can be from an odd or even number.

Downloads: Count on and back in 1s (7) | Count in 2s, 5s, 10s and 3s (4)


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Exploring Place Value
Partitioning in 10s and 1s; comparing and ordering

Children partition numbers into tens and ones. They read numbers, recombining the parts. They compare numbers and place them in order. Finally, they place and identify numbers on a line or on the 1-100 grid.

Downloads: 2-digit Place Value (3) | Compare and order 2-digit numbers (8) | Place 2-digit numbers on a line or grid (5)


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Addition and Subtraction
Number bonds and pairs; unit patterns in addition and subtraction

Children rehearse number bonds to 10, applying this to add to the next multiple of 10. They recall pairs of numbers adding to 7, 8 and 9, along with subtraction facts for numbers to 20. They recognise and identify unit patterns, using these to develop fluency in mental addition and subtraction.

Downloads: Addition and subtraction number bonds and pairs (6) | Unit patterns in addition and subtraction (5)


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Times Tables
Practise multiplication facts

Each starter takes one or more times tables as a focus, practising multiplication facts for the 2x, 5x, 10x and 3x tables. In the easier tables (2x and 10x) we add some tricky questions intended to pose a challenge outside simple recall of facts. Some children will love this. Encourage all children to have a go!

Downloads: Times tables (4)


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Double and Halve
Doubling numbers to 20 and halving even numbers less than 40

Children rehearse known facts, e.g. double 6 is 12 and half of 18 is 9. They need to ensure fluency, recognising the simple doubles such as double 3, and identifying numbers that are easy to halve, such as 6.

Downloads: Doubling and halving numbers (2)


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Money, coin recognition, and telling the time

Children look at coins and practise swift and confident identification. They rehearse telling the time to the nearest half hour on analogue clocks.

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


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.