The choice of number is the first major discussion point which you can have before any of the board is completed, and you will probably find your favourite way but here is a couple of ideas;

Number of the day

This is a popular thing for many classes already and is a great way to go super deep into many facets of what makes up a number.

You could do a number of the day, or week. That number can become the number which gets used on the board, incorporating Rapid Recall with many other activities.

Make the choice of number and resulting discussion part of your class routine, encouraging pupils to think about their number and at least know some of the facts before choosing it.

Each Child Chooses

This doesn’t work for every class, but some fantastic discussion can be generated around each pupil’s choice of number.

You can also stipulate criteria for the number to gauge understanding, such as ‘your number must be odd, and not in the 5 times table’.

Pair pupils up and get them to discuss their numbers before completing their boards.

Pupils can choose for themselves, or for each other. You could do tough Thursday or trouble-free Tuesday.

Zoning In

This can be done from year 1 – 6.

  1. Pupil’s will need a hundred square which they can write on (if you are using this technique regularly we recommend using a Hundred Square whiteboard)
  2. Choose a number and ensure you are familiar with as many facts as possible about it.
  3. Go around the class and get pupils to ask questions (using correct mathematical language) to zone in on the number.
  4. As you answer the questions, pupils cross off numbers which are ruled out.
  5. Pupils cannot ask is it ‘X’ they must ask a final question such as “is it the answer to 10 minus 5?”.