Short Blocks

Maths Year 5 Summer Place Value

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

Negative numbers; count through zero (suggested as 2 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss contexts in which we use negative numbers: temperature, depth, debts, etc. Launch the ITP Number Line. Choose –20 to 20 range. Click so that the numbers are not displayed on the tags. Children identify numbers. Mark –2 and –8. What numbers are in-between? Repeat with +3 and –4. Ask children to write a number between –15 and 15 on a whiteboard. Gradually create a human number line, with children negotiating their position in the line.
Group Activities
-- Practise ordering number cards –10 to 10.
-- Order sets of three –15 to 15 number cards using < and >. Play a team game.

Day 2 Teaching
Show a horizontal counting stick. Identify the end as –10. Count from this to +10. Then start at –40 and count in steps of 5. Start at –100 and count in 10s. Start at –200 and count in 25s. Repeat, counting back and forth across 0 in different size steps. Discuss situations in ‘real life’ where these sorts of subtractions are possible, e.g. falls in temperature, descending below sea level, or being overdrawn at the bank.
Group Activities
Use the in-depth problem-solving investigation ‘First Connect Three’ from NRICH as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
-- Play a game to practise counting back through zero to -20 and beyond.
-- Repeatedly subtract from the first number in a given pair to exactly reach the second.

You Will Need

  • ITP Number Line (see resources)
  • Mini-whiteboards and pens
  • –10 to 10 cards
  • –15 to 15 cards
  • Counting stick
  • –20 to 20 number lines (see resources)
  • 1–6 dice

Mental/Oral Maths Starters

Day 1
Count back through zero (pre-requisite skills)

Suggested for Day 2
Count on and back in steps of 25 (simmering skills)


Day 1
Compare pairs of positive and negative numbers, order groups of numbers, write a number between given pairs of numbers.

Day 2
Continue sequences counting on and back through zero. Solve challenge problems.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving

  • Sketch a line –20 to +20. Mark 0. Teacher marks a mystery number (e.g. –8). What number have I marked? Children ask questions to guess. Repeat.
  • Count on in steps of 4 from -27. How many steps to reach or pass 20?
  • Count in steps of –5. Start at +3. How many steps to get to –42?
  • Order these temperatures, starting with the lowest:
    12°C, –6°C, –11°C, 0°C, 27°C

In-depth Investigation: First Connect Three
A game to add or subtract the two numbers on a dice and cover the result on a grid, trying to get a line of three. First Connect Three from