Short Blocks

Maths Year 3/4 Spring Place Value and Fractions

Each unit has everything you need to teach a set of related skills and concepts.

Negative numbers (suggested as 2 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Count backwards and forwards through zero using a counting stick. Order positive and negative numbers.
Group Activities: T with Y3
Y3 -- Practise ordering numbers −10 to 10; complete inequalities using < or > symbols. Some children will just practise ordering numbers −5 to 5.
Y4 -- Practise ordering numbers −10 to 10. Write three consecutive negative numbers, given the ‘middle’ number. Complete inequalities using < or > symbols. Some children will also answer and create subtractions with negative answers.

Day 2 Teaching
Model increase and decrease of temperature above/below zero using Thermometer ITP.
Group Activities: T with Y4
Use the in-depth problem-solving investigation ‘Sea Level’ from NRICH as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
Y3 -- Order positive and negative numbers. Find the difference between pairs of temperatures.
Y4 -- Order positive and negative numbers. Investigate temperatures in a range of locations and solve problems relating to temperature differences.

You Will Need

  • Counting stick
  • Cards/sticky notes with −5, −4, −3 … 5
  • Number cards −10 to 10
  • ITP Thermometer

Short Mental Workouts

Day 1
Convert between kg and g

Day 2
Counting forwards and backwards across zero


Day 1
Y3: Order positive and negative numbers.
Y4: Order positive and negative numbers.

Day 2
Y3: Solve temperature problems.
Y4: Solve temperature problems

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving

Year 3 & 4

  • Put these temperatures in order, starting with the lowest:
    19°C, −9°C, −18°C, 0°C, 21°C
  • Estimate the number shown by the arrow on this number line:
    -10_____ ↑ ____________20
  • What temperature is 10 degrees less than 4°C?
  • Alfie says ‘20 degrees higher than −5°C is 25°C’. Do you agree with him?

In-depth Investigation: Sea Level
Can you calculate the depths between some of the underwater creatures?
Sea Level from

Extra Support

Y3 / Y4: Temperature Differences
Work together on the Y4 Day 2 group activity. Use a number line to support finding the difference between positive and negative numbers