Activities for differentiated negative numbers lessons at Key Stage 2 (KS2) and early KS3. Includes 3 fun Hidden Word / Spot the Mistake Puzzles (and solutions), a 30-card Loop Game / Dominoes Set and 16 Word Problems Cards (8 multi-step and 8 more simple).

An engaging alternative to worksheets, these Numeracy puzzles make ideal starter, early finisher or homework activities. There’s one on increasing and decreasing temperature (Celsius), one for simple subtraction calculations with mostly negative number answers and a more challenging puzzle featuring addition and subtraction of negative and positive integers. Puzzles can be completed individually or in pairs / groups. Similar to codebreaker puzzles, a maths-related word is revealed after completing calculations. Each puzzle contains a grid. Within each box is a calculation and a letter. Pupils circle boxes containing errors. Then they assemble the letters from the circled boxes to reveal a maths word. There's a further challenge question / task at the bottom of the page linked to the word.

Pupils often forget or avoid checking their work for errors so it’s great to get them carefully checking in these puzzles. Spotting common errors may help them remember to check their own work.

Fun group / whole class activity to consolidate adding and subtracting negative numbers, using phrases ('reduce by', 'increase', 'difference between' etc). Forms a continuous loop.

8 Multi-Step Word Problem Cards and 8 more simple. Solutions can be printed back to back with question side for student self-checking or can be printed and made into separate cards if required. Consolidates understanding of negative numbers in the contexts of temperature (degrees Celsius), money / bank accounts and points in a sporting league. Work well as early finisher challenges. Separate pounds and dollars versions.

More Hidden Word Puzzles for Rounding, Multiplication and Fractions, available in a bundle - and a Mental Maths Halloween set: Maths Puzzles

Avoid adding to your workload at this busy time of year - simply print and photocopy: Christmas Mental Maths Puzzles

My Crossnumber Puzzles are popular too:
Mental Maths Puzzles Year 5 / 6

For time-saving, engaging printables and presentations to plan Primary Literacy, Maths and French lessons, visit FullShelf Resources


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  • Negative-Numbers-Hidden-Word-Puzzles..pdf
  • Negative-Numbers-Dominoes-or-Loop-Game..pdf
  • Negative-Numbers-Word-Problems-Cards..pdf
  • Negative-Numbers-Hidden-Word-Problems-Cards-(Dollars)..pdf

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