Autumn KS2 code

Here’s an example of a great way to get kids to practice their math skills AND think about spelling and grammar.

Each letter has a calculation below it, after figuring out the result of the calculation the letter can be inserted in the lower portion wherever that result appears.

Kids should be encouraged to think about what they are doing (maybe first go for the high probability letters), look at the words as they form and guess what letters might fill in the gaps, etc. They DO NOT need to figure out all the letters (not for this puzzle anyway). You could mark or score the puzzle based on being correct and having figured out the fewest calculations.



Here’s a link to download a PDF file.


Find the picture mathematics exercise

Okay, this is another type of math exercise I can tailor to the needs of a particular student. The idea being they figure out all the math problems and shade the squares in the grid that correspond to the answers. I leave it to you to figure out what the picture is in this case.


My students do like these BUT I found it harder and harder to come up with pictures on a 10 x 10 grid!! A bigger grid would be easier but printing it would be difficult.

Anyway, give it a try if you’d like and let me know what you think!

An idea for a mathematics exercise . . .

A good friend of mine posted this picture on facebook.


I think it’s very clever, especially since it’s done completely with ‘9’s. And it got me thinking . . .

I could ask students to make up problems with a given answer. For very young children that would just be ‘adds’ and ‘take aways’. So . . . give me an add that comes out to be 9. For older kids it could involve ‘multiply’s or ‘divide’s or square roots or exponents.

Hmmm . . . I’m liking this!!

I find that it can help students understand mathematical structures and procedures when then are asked to work the process backwards and forwards.

Another math exercise

I stole this idea from the puzzle section of one of the UK’s national newspapers. The idea here is to fill in all the spaces in the centre block with the digits 1 through 9, some have already been done. It teaches kids how to think about what kind and size of answers certain combinations give. AND it’s good basic ‘order of operations’ practice.


I really enjoy doing these myself and so figured out a way to create my own using Excel. It’s much easier than it looks, although you have to be careful that you give enough ‘clues’. Filling in too many spaces ahead of time is not so much of a problem especially if the student is having trouble grasping the exercise.

Sadly, my students don’t enjoy doing them as much as I do but I thought I’d share this anyway.

Some fun math!

As a private math tutor I frequently try to find some activity that I can give to students who don’t want to practice some of the basic, necessary skills. Like all other instructors I frequently look for things on the internet. One time I found a kind of coded message activity: the student has to figure out some basic math problems and the answers are matched with letters and that leads to converting a string of numbers into a sentence in English. Most of my tutorees just love doing that kind of thing. So I thought . . . why not create some tailored for them.

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