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Year 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 each group's list get slightly harder.
Starters with an E at the end of the download filename are easier, as they revisit Y3 skills.

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Place value and number
Placing numbers on a line and rounding

Children estimate where to place 4- and 5-digit numbers on a line, applying their understanding of 3-digit place value. They also begin to locate 1-place decimals on a line.
Children round numbers to the nearest whole number, 10 or 100.

Downloads: Placing numbers on a line (6) | Rounding (3)


Adding to the next whole, 10 and 100
Apply number facts when adding to place value ‘boundary’ numbers

Children apply learned number facts to add to make the next multiple of 10 and 100. They apply new learning on decimals to add to the next whole number. Occasional ‘tricky’ questions will challenge understanding.

Downloads: Next 10 (2) | Next 100 (4) | Decimals (3)


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

Children practise mentally adding two 2-digit numbers. They use their knowledge of place value to decide whether to count on or partition and re-combine. They also rehearse mental strategies to find a difference, counting up from the smaller to the larger number. They add and subtract 1s, 10s, 100s or 1000s to/from 3- and 4-digit numbers and extend this to add/subtract 1ps, 10ps and £s to/from amounts of money.

Downloads: +/- 2-digit number (8) | +/- 1s, 10s, 100s, 1000s (4) | +/- 1ps, 10ps, £1s (2)


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Times tables
Practise multiplication and division facts

Each starter takes a particular times table as its focus. We aim to practise both multiplication facts, e.g. 9 x 6 is what? and also, division facts, e.g. How many 6s in 54? For the easier tables, e.g. 2x, 3x and 5x, we add some tricky questions intended to pose a challenge outside simple recall of facts and some children will love this. Encourage all children to have a go!

Downloads: Multiplication facts (5) | Division facts (4)


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Count in steps of 5, 50 and 100

Three starters with a mix of counting forwards and back in same-sized steps. Early counts begin at zero or lower multiples of 5, 50 or 100. Counts in latter examples don’t begin at any exact multiples, so draw out skills of digit pattern-spotting.

Downloads: Count in steps of 5, 50 and 100 (3)


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’. These ‘fraction families’ include halves, thirds, quarters, fifths, sixths, eighths, tenths and twelfths. Children also begin to recognise a fraction in its simplest form.

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 5-minute intervals on both analogue and digital clocks.

Downloads: Telling 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.