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Year 3/4 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 the list of downloads get slightly harder .
Starters with an E at the end of the download filename are easier, as they revisit Y2/Y3 skills.

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Place value and number
Placing numbers on a line, place value calculations and rounding

Children estimate where to place 3- and 4-digit numbers on a line, applying their understanding of 2-/3-digit place value.
They fill in missing numbers in place value calculations, e.g. Which of these could be the value of the missing digit in 4_7? (a) 4 (b) 30 (c) 600.
Children round numbers to the nearest 10, 100 or whole £.

Downloads: Placing numbers on a line (5) | Place Value missing digits (2) | Rounding (3)


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Number bonds; adding to the next 10, 100 or £
Recall and apply number facts in adding and subtracting

Addition and subtraction facts are rehearsed, including number bonds to 10 and 20, pairs of numbers which make the numbers up to 20. Some address complements: adding to make the next multiple of 10, the complement to 100 or whole £.

Downloads: Bonds for addition & subtraction, next 10 (4) | Complements to 100, next £ (3)


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Mental addition/subtraction
Mental strategies adding and subtracting, including money

Children practise mentally adding and finding the difference between two 2-digit numbers, using their growing number-sense to choose whether to use place value or a different appropriate calculation strategy.
They add and subtract 1s, 10s, or 100s to/from 2- and 3-digit numbers and extend this to add/subtract 1ps, 10ps and £s to/from amounts of money.

Downloads: +/- 2-digit numbers (6) | +/- 1s, 10s, 100s (4) | +/- 1ps, 10ps, £1s (2)


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Doubling and halving
Doubling numbers to 50 and halving even numbers less than 100

Children rehearse known facts, e.g. double 6 is 12 and half of 18 is 9. They also practise quick mental calculation involving doubling and halving, e.g. half of 44 or double 23. Some may involve simple partitioning, e.g. double 15.

Downloads: Doubling and halving numbers (3)


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Times tables and counting in steps
Practise multiplication and division facts; count in steps

Each starter takes a particular times table or group of tables as its focus. We aim to practise both multiplication facts, e.g. 3 x 6 is what? and also, division facts, e.g. How many 6s in 18? For most tables, we add some tricky questions intended to pose a challenge outside simple recall of facts. Some children will love this, but encourage all children to have a go!
Children also count in steps of 5, 50 and 100.

Downloads: Multiplication facts; spotting multiples (6) | Division facts (3) | Count in steps (2)


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Equivalent Fractions
Matching pairs or threes of equivalent fractions

Children look carefully at sets of fractions and identify those which belong to the same ‘fraction-family’, e.g. identifying 3/6 and 5/10 as equivalent to 1/2. These ‘fraction families’ include halves, thirds, quarters and fifths.

Downloads: Equivalent fractions (2)


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Telling the time
Recognising and matching analogue and digital times

Children identify the correct time on analogue clocks, then find digital time displays to match. This rehearses telling time to the hour, 1/2 hour, 1/4 hour and 5 minutes on both analogue and digital clocks.

Downloads: Telling the time (3)


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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.