Mortgages, Loans, Tax Calculations

Students take on the role of a house buyer. They are provided with a random house, salary, job and mortgage provider. They have to calculate repayments, monthly salary, affordability, taxes etc. Simple but fun.

part 1

part 3

part 4

Part 2



007 Number Bonds

I’ve created a series of number bonds ‘workouts’ in the style of (the fantastic) Times Tables Rockstars.

There’s no website I’m afraid(!), these are just excel sheets that randomly generate numbers each time you load them. That means that you have an infinite variety. Hurrah!

There are:

3 Levels of difficulty for number bonds to 10 (add, subtract, mixed)


The same again (3 levels) for bonds to 20:


6 levels of difficulty for bonds to 100 (below is level 6):


and I’ve also added in 2 levels for bonds to 60 (time), 180 (angles) and 360 (more angles).



Each sheet has randomly generated numbers on it. That means that every time you do something (eg press enter), the whole sheet will change. That’s great for making different worksheets each week, but really bad if you want to reload an old one with exactly the same questions on it.

SO!! If you want to make a permanent copy of any single set of questions, then print the page to pdf.

Do that by selecting file / print but selecting PDF instead of a printer.

PS the answers are all in each sheet as well. Just change the font colour of the cells where the answers should go and voila, there are the answers.

Here is the excel file. All the different sheets are listed along the bottom of the file (as…excel sheets).

007 Number Bonds

And if you’re into the whole playing music at the same time thing, here’s the james bond score and some classic film themes:

Adding and Subtracting

This is part 2 of my ongoing rewriting of a Year 7 Scheme of Work.

The first was 18 resources for fractions, here.

For addition and subtraction, I’m trying to emphasis the properties of the operations, and the ways in which you can manipulate the numbers whilst retaining the same values in a sum.

Much of this is *usually* taught in primary school, however many (many!) students found these resources enlightening.

I would stress that they need a lot of discussion and teacher-led questioning to be really effective. Handing out the sheets and writing your reports probably won’t have much impact!!

1. The Properties of Addition

Here we looked at the commutative and associative properties of addition. We looked at how reordering a sum can help make it easier.

This was particularly effective if, prior to introducing the techniques, you give students a left-to-right sum of several numbers, and ask a student to go through their process out loud. Most will instinctively go left to right, rather than picking out easy pairs.


36 + 21 + 17 + 4 + 13

is far easier as

(36 + 4) + (17 + 13) + 21


We then looked at how by aiming for ‘safe numbers’ such as a round ten or hundred, addition can be broken down to become more manageable.I aimed this specifically at finding angles up to 180 or 360, and finding the nearest hour etc, as these are the areas I’ve found weaker students often struggle with.

time add

add angles

The file is here:

Properties of Addition

and some nice sort cards on the same theme here:

Reordering Addition

reorder add

2. Properties of Subtraction

Much as before, we looked at the properties of subtraction and how sums can be manipulated. It was great to see students spot that subtraction is *almost* commutative, especially if you keep the first number locked down, or at least attach a ‘plus’ in front of it wherever it goes (yes I know why that works before you comment!).


We then moved onto working with estimating – to help develop some kind of number sense as to what answers might look like. It was interesting to see that some students had *no idea* what the answer would look like, especially when doing the sum mentally without seeing it written.


Finally we tried some puzzle style tasks I created, which promote students getting a sense for how numbers can be manipulated. I assigned a points system so that students weren’t just incrementing one number by one, and subtracting one from the other (although I accepted this was a valid mathematical approach).

It was great to hear how all the students differed slightly in their approaches, but how all students used a method of sorts, rather than plucking random numbers out of the air.  Using two variables (the first two puzzles) was no-where near as effective as using three.

subtract puzzles

Subtraction and Estimation

add_sub_puzzle templates

3. Regrouping and Understanding the column method

Here the aim was to help students understand what is happening with the column method, and again reinforcing the ability to manipulate numbers without altering the values in the sum.




I like the table below, it allows for different styles of questions all within one template.


When practising the column method, I thought I’d use some more challenging questioning for the higher ability students (see below)


All the files below belong to this section:

regrouping template


Regrouping 2

addition subtraction template

Subtraction and Addition Column Method

4. Other notable contributions

I made all of the above resources myself, but I really liked and used some of Don Stewards excellent resources.


Cryptarithms for the more able:


Triangle Differences which went down a treat!


and this 1089 thing