Mastery of place value requires both good teaching and a great deal of practice. The decoding activities provided make this practice more engaging. Writing jokes within the context of other subjects allows numeracy to be supported across the curriculum.

Mastery of place value requires both good teaching and a great deal of practice. The decoding activities provided make this practice more engaging. Writing jokes within the context of other subjects allows numeracy to be supported across the curriculum.

Manipulate expressions using the Laws of Indices. Decode each puzzle to work out the punchline to a joke. (with answers)
Key words: index, indices, notation, expression, index laws, laws of indices, base, bases, power, powers, raising a power to a power, divide, multiply, puzzle, joke, decode, worksheet, practice, math, maths, mathematics, (unlock, untangle, understand).

It is likely that you will shop in a supermarket, but will you spot the cheapest deals? ‘Best buy’ questions have been a staple on exam papers for years. Compare offers using equivalent quantities or unit cost to identify the best deal. Devices within the puzzle allow students to self monitor their work and correct errors. Students like to finish a puzzle, but they don’t always like the jokes they decode! Each puzzle also supports literacy. Students have to split the string of letters into recognisable words to answer the joke (answers included). The symbols on the tins are Mongolian numerals.
Key words: best buy, value for money, proportion, equivalent quantities, estimte, unit cost, comparison, compare, ratio, joke, shopping, supermarket.

Six puzzles plus a paragraph to decode, supported by a poster and a structured worksheet (pick and mix). Builds up to standard form. Devices within the puzzle allow students to self monitor their work and correct errors. Students like to finish a puzzle, but they don’t always like the jokes they decode! Each puzzle also supports literacy. Students have to split the string of letters into recognisable words to read the punchline. (answers included).
Keywords: place value, multiply, units, tens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions, thousandths, hundredths, tenths, puzzle, joke, code, standard form, standard index form, standard form, power, of 10, number system, origins, poster, worksheet, practice, math, maths, mathematics, unlock untangle understand.

Expressions with the same base, can be manipulated using the Law of Indices. Decode the puzzle to practice the laws of indices when raising a power to another power, includes multiplying and dividing indices. If you like this resource, search for Index Laws 1, 2 and 4.
Key words: index, indices, notation, expression, index laws, base, bases, power, powers, raining a power to a power, multiply, divide, puzzle, joke, decode, worksheet, practice, math, maths joke, mathematics, (unlock, untangle, understand).

Four mobile balancing problems to support algebraic reasoning. The thinking used in these puzzles is the same as the logic used behind solving equations. Explore equivalence where the LHS = RHS (Answers included).
Key words: equivalence, mobile problems, balance, pan balance, relationship, solve, balance problem, unknown, joke, logical thinking, multi-step problems, algebraic reasoning, puzzle, decode, worksheet, math, maths, mathematics, (unlock, untangle, understand).

Match the decimals given in words to the number given in digits. Devices within the puzzle allow students to self monitor their work and correct errors. Students like to finish a puzzle, but they don’t always like the jokes they decode! Each puzzle also supports literacy. Students have to split the string of letters into recognisable words to read the punchline. (answers included). If you like this, search for: Place Value - A pack of decimal and fraction puzzles.
Keywords: place value, decimals, units, tenths, hundredths, thousandths, puzzle, joke, number system, practice, math, maths joke, mathematics, unlock untangle understand.

Expressions with the same base, can be manipulated using the Law of Indices. Change each expression into base of 3 or 5 before applying the laws of indices and decode the puzzle. I f you like this resource search for Index Laws 1 , 2 and 3.
Key words: index, indices, notation, expression, index laws, base, bases, power, powers, raining a power to a power, multiply, divide, puzzle, joke, decode, worksheet, practice, math, maths joke, mathematics, (unlock, untangle, understand).
Updated 28_09_16

It’s called Menseki Meiro, or Area Maze. The only maths you need to know is that the area of a rectangle is the length multiplied by the width. Students like to finish a puzzle, but they don’t always like the jokes they decode! Use the information and some logical thinking to work out the punchline to the joke (answer included).
Key words: Menseki Meiro, area maze, area, rectangle, area of a rectangle, length, multiply, divide, width, compound area, Japanese puzzle, math problem, puzzle, logical thinking. Why did the rectangle go to the gym? untangle, unlock, understand.

Find a fraction of an amount using unitary fractions to calculate the punchline to a joke. Students like to finish a puzzle, but they don’t always like the jokes they decode!
Key words: denominator, unitary fraction, proportion, fraction, fraction of an amount, share, whole, hole, total, joke, maths joke, punchline, decode, if it takes six men one hour to dig three holes...

8 Menseki Meiro, or Area Maze problems.
Key words: Menseki Meiro, area maze, area, rectangle, area of a rectangle, length, multiply, divide, width, compound shapes, Japanese puzzle, puzzle, multi step problems, logical thinking.

Nice extension questions for rectangle area, with a different spin leaning towards the new style GCSE questions. The only maths you need to know is that the area of a rectangle is the length multiplied by the width. Using the measurements given and logical thinking, work out the missing values (answers provided).
Now with new proportional reasoning questions.
Key words: Menseki Meiro, area maze, area, rectangle, area of a rectangle, length, multiply, divide, width, compound shapes, Japanese puzzle, puzzle, multi step problems, logical thinking.

Use the nth term expressions to calculate the missing terms in each sequence.
Key words: nth term, expression, sequence, sequences, ascending, worksheet.

Mathematical Vocabulary Booklet (ten_a_day)
A set of 12 matching activities in a booklet, intended as a refresher activity, to remind students about the key words used in mathematics and their definition or meaning. Students self assess their knowledge of a given word by shading a response box. An ideal starter or extension task to promote mathematical vocabulary that should be known at KS2, but may remain unfamiliar to students in subsequent key stages. Supports learning and retaining spellings of key mathematical words. Works well alongside http://www.numeracyninjas.org/
(Answers available on the TES site, search for mathematical vocabulary ten_a_day.)
Key words: vocabulary, mathematical vocabulary, match, definition, self assess, mathematical, mathematics, key words.

Nine puzzles for students to decode (pick and mix). Devices within the puzzle allow students to self monitor their work and correct errors. Students like to finish a puzzle, but they don’t always like the jokes they decode! Each puzzle also supports literacy. Students have to split the string of letters into recognisable words to answer the joke. (answers included). Six other puzzles, which are simpler, can be found at - Place value - decimals (cross curricular numeracy). If students need support, project or print off the place value poster. Harder puzzles can be found under - Place value - powers of 10.
Keywords: the decimal system, read decimal numbers, place value, units, tenths, hundredths, thousandths, decimal, fraction. mixed number, puzzle, joke, code, number system, reading scale, joke, worksheet, math, maths, mathematics, unlock untangle understand.

Round each number to one significant figure first, then calculate to make an estimate of the calculation to decode the joke. Devices within the puzzle allow students to self monitor their work and correct errors. Students like to finish a puzzle, but they don’t always like the jokes they decode! The puzzle also supports literacy students have to split the string of letters into recognisable words to work out the answer (answers included).
Key words: Estimation, estimate, place value, significant figure, joke, decode. round, significant figure, estimating, rounding, worksheet, joke, (unlock, untangle, understand).

Six puzzles to support cross curricular numeracy in: French, Technology, Chemistry and Economics. Puzzles can be used as starters. Use the puzzles in different subject areas to identify a numeracy deficit connected to place value or issues of transference from mathematics to other subjects. Devices within the puzzle allow students to self monitor their work and correct errors. Students like to finish a puzzle, but they don’t always like the jokes they decode! Each puzzle also supports literacy. Students have to split the string of letters into recognisable words to answer the joke. If you find these resources useful there are more, search for: Place value - decimals (cross curricular numeracy_1 or_3).
Keywords: cross curricular numeracy, resource, the decimal system, read decimal numbers, place value, units, tenths, hundredths, thousandths, decimal, un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, international joke day, degrees, potassium, oxygen, humus, tzatziki, dips, chocolate, balanced diet, bridge, La Seine, worksheet, numeracy deficit, transference (unlock untangle understand).

Expressions with the same base can be manipulated using the Law of Indices. Decode the puzzle to practice using the laws of indices. Print two per page in landscape. If you like this resources search for Index laws 2, 3 and 4.
Key words: index, indices, notation, expression, index laws, base, bases, power, powers, multiply, puzzle, joke, decode, worksheet, practice, math, maths, mathematics, (unlock, untangle, understand).

A message, built up from fractions of mathematical words to create of four sentences. Each sentence explains the history of fractions as they are used today. The fraction given indicates how much of each word to use. Put the parts together to form a new word and decode information about the history of fractions. Each question supports literacy. Students have to merge groups of letters together to form recognisable words and sentences (answers included). Students can be surprised that fractions in their current form, originated in India (SSMC).
Key words: fraction, fractions, fraction of an amount, history of fractions, ssmc, numerator, denominator, vocabulary, puzzle, decode, fraction words, fractions have not always been written as they are today.

The pack includes balance drawing problems (up to unknowns on both sides), then balance drawings with equations written using symbols. There is a structured worksheet and a puzzle to complete the activity.
The balance drawings reinforce the concept of equality LHS = RHS. There are no negatives, fractions or decimals involved in this pack only integer solutions. Answers on each page are easily checked because they sum to a multiple of 10 (answers included).
Key words: equivalence, mobile problems, balance problems, pan balance, relationship, algebra, solve, unknowns, unknowns on both sides, balance problem, unknown, joke, logical thinking, multi-step problems, algebraic reasoning, puzzle, decode, worksheet, math, maths, mathematics, (unlock, untangle, understand).

Complete each maze in the most efficient way possible. Add the values of all the squares visited together, match the answer to the appropriate letter to work out the answer to the riddle. I use these activities to check students know how to add fractions with common denominators, work with improper fractions and add simple mixed numbers. They also highlight if a student needs help adding directed numbers. Useful as a general reminder.
Key words: add, addition, revision activity, homework, diagnostic activity for number, total, calculation maze, puzzle, joke, practice, math joke, maths jokes, mathematics, Why did the boy stare at the carton of juice?, Did you hear about the four guys who stole a calendar? unlock untangle understand.