My brilliant idea - Take aim

5th December 2008 at 00:00

Maths - 7 to 11-year-olds

"David, you require 79." He steps up to the oche, thinks for a moment and tells me that treble 13 and double 20 will do it. He hits the virtual dartboard on the interactive whiteboard and a round of applause tells him he's hit the target.

Darts is all about knowing your numbers and children that play regularly certainly do. They begin to learn combinations of numbers that come naturally to them. 95? That's treble 19, double 19. 80? That's treble 16, double 16. You get the point.

The dartboard is a circle of dreams to a maths teacher. The numbers offer oodles of possibilities. Invite a player to the dartboard and ask them to throw three square numbers. Or how about throwing three numbers that each have four factors?

You could play with four darts instead of three and invent your own collection of numbers instead of the traditional version. Think about setting up a darts club for children to practise their skills further.

Used creatively, dartboards are outstanding resources for improving mental maths prowess and helping children feel more at home with numbers

John Dabell teaches at Lawn Primary School in Derby.

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