TES teaching resources Calculation strategies

Primary Maths - Calculation Strategies

This collection has useful and time-saving resources to model and practise all kinds of calculation strategies.

TESiboard Interactive Teaching Tools

Function Machine

  • A fun machine for exploring number functions and estimating outcomes. Set the desired function from the drop-down list.

Guess the Function

  • A function machine for pupils to write down/visualise the outcome before checking using the machine. Choose from two modes: Set the Function or Random Function.

Flying Parrots

  • A useful interactive tool for exploring number bonds and addition. The parrots fly between the trees for children to find the totals. There are various options available, depending on the objective and for differentiation.

Visual Numbers

  • An open-ended, versatile teaching tool, to model many different number concepts. Make numbers by clicking in the box at the bottom. Place the number on the empty number line above. By clicking on the arrow, the digit is visually represented by beads, split into tens and units. Great for ordering and place value.

Number Cards

  • Use these number cards to make a range of addition and subtraction problems. Use the * on each card to hide a number or operator in a calculation to make simple puzzles and to set challenges.

Sorting Counters

  • An opportunity for pupils to solve a variety of sorting problems and approach sorting and counting in an organised way. The counters can be shown in a variety of different groupings to highlight, for example, multiplication concepts or estimating, counting and checking.

Number Targets

  • An activity to make calculations to reach a target number. Set a starting number and target number, and ask pupils to find different ways of adding and subtracting to reach that target. If they miss, they have to adjust with another calculation until they succeed. When the target is reached, a report screen shows the steps taken.

Multiple Fish

  • A simple teaching tool that can be used flexibly to explain concepts of multiplication as repeated addition, division and remainders. The multiple amount can be set at the start.

Repeated Sets

  • A tool to show multiplication as repeated sets. Set the number of apples and bananas and then ask pupils to calculate the totals. Introduce two stage problems by totalling up all the fruit after working out the two parts.

Adding 2-digit numbers

  • Demonstrate partitioning: Add two or three 2-digit numbers by adding the tens digit and the units digit separately. Break the numbers up and add them together again.

Comparing Sweets

  • An activity for pupils to complete number sentences comparing amounts of sweets…or ask them to show a particular sum using the sweets. Great for modelling and solving difference problems.

Resources shared by teaching professionals

I do it my way

  • Two booklets on calculation strategies, with clear examples, for all four operations. Very useful as a reminder for children and as a guide for parents. Covers Y3-4 and Y5-6.

Introduction to Column Addition

  • Teaching presentation and supporting activity sheets to introduce more formal written methods for column addition. You’ll need lots of red, blue and green pencil crayons!

Division: Chunking

  • These plans were developed for small groups of children who were struggling with the process of dividing using the chunking method. It breaks it down and uses success criteria.

Working Out Times Tables

  • A presentation showing multiplication facts and strategies.

Negative Numbers

  • Three presentations taking pupils through the rules of applying operations to negative numbers. Originally developed for Y7, this could also be useful for higher ability Y5/6 pupils.

Pupil consolidation

Here are interactives and worksheets to consolidate knowledge and put strategies into practice

Interactives from TESiboard

Beam Me Up - Multiply

  • Practise multiplication skills - hit the target by multiplying the aliens! The result is shown visually as repeated addition. There are several modes to choose.

Evacuate Aliens - Quick Addition

  • Great for practising speedy mental addition in a problem solving context! Put aliens into the beam to reach the total on the spaceship.

Multiplication Aliens

  • Ask pupils to hit a target using one or more repeated additions.

Making Calculations

  • An open-ended activity for pupils to explore number relationships by making their own calculations. For example, set a task to find as many ways as possible of reaching 10 or 20, by adding or subtracting. Now, how about using 3 numbers to reach 10?

Inverse Relationships

  • Challenge pupils to find four different calculations from the same three numbers, testing their knowledge of inverse relationships.

Inverse Relationships (Multiplication and Division)

  • Pupils find all the inverse sums that can be made from sets of three numbers, testing their knowledge of inverse relationships and commutability.

Worksheets and games

Division Board Game

  • Board games, with differentiated levels, to practise division problems.

Word Problems

  • Sheets, differentiated into 3 levels, based on addition and subtraction with 2 and 3 digit numbers.

Problem Solving

  • Number statements for which pupils must supply the missing operation - by holding up the correct operation card.

Addition/Subtraction Word Problems

  • A worksheet for pupils to decide the operation needed for each problem and then solve.

Decimal Addition and Subtraction

  • Worksheets in the context of money calculations for shopping.

Four Operations Worksheets

  • A handy worksheet generator - choose the operation and set the maximum numbers to use.

Spiral Addition

  • Generates problems using addition and subtraction, extending into negative numbers.

Maths Games

  • Five maths games covering place value, addition of single digit numbers, tables, addition and subtraction of single digit, and missing number problems.

Numeracy Starters

  • Various open-ended starters for numeracy lessons, aimed at Y6, which emphasise the importance of rules, strategies and success criteria.

Maths with Smarties

  • Two lesson plans (Yr 4 data handling and Yr 5 Number) which use Smarties as a fun way of tackling fractions. Specific guidance is included on how to extend your more able mathematicians.

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