This game is all about quickly solving mathematic problems using mental methods. There are four sets of differentiated questions (see link to the right). Before splitting the children into mixed groups, give each ability group a colour of question that they must answer. Eg: “Jimmy’s maths group need to choose the blue questions. Sammy’s maths group need to choose the green questions.”
Split the children into four mixed ability groups and spread each group into the corners of a playing space (playground, field or similar).
Each group should stand in a single-file line at one of the corners of the space. Each child should then run to the pot in the middle of the square and take a question that matches their ability level. Once the child has taken a question they should answer it, still stood in the middle, and call the answer to a checker (ideally an adult), who is stood alongside the question pot. If the answer is correct, they take it back to their team. If it is wrong, they get a second attempt. If it is wrong again, they should leave it behind in the centre pot and return to their team.
Only one person is allowed to run from a team at any one point.
Once all the questions are gone from the middle the game is over.
The winning team is the team with the most correctly answered questions at the end of the game.
Four whiteboards should be available in the centre to assist those that choose to use them.
Printable copy: Mental Maths Magpie