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.

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).

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.

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

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.

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. 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).

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.

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.

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, estimate, unit cost, comparison, compare, ratio, joke, shopping, supermarket, (unlock, untangle, understand).

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.

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.

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).

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).

I am going to try these 10 a day questions, to see if the approach works in the classroom. The questions are typical, but not standard. I hope to use them to uncover a few misconceptions. I thought I'd share with you and see what the feedback/reviews were like.

Use prime factors to find the square root of a number. This task is easily extended to decide if the square root of a number is an integer value, or not. This task develops a feeling for number and underpins an understanding of surds. Key words: integer, factor, prime factor, factorisation, square root, root, surd.

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).

Solve simple problems involving proportion. Find the value of the shaded sector by working out the relationship between the information given and the sector required. Could be used as a starter for pie charts (because the jokes link to pies and circles), or as a fraction of an amount activity or to develop proportional reasoning. Students like to finish a puzzle, but they don’t always like the jokes they decode! (answers included)
Key words: proportion, equivalent quantity, unitary fraction, fraction, fraction of an amount, pie chart, multiply, divide, share, sector, circle, whole, total, joke, decode.