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**What is it?**

I love this simple, engaging activity that helps students practice their key numeracy skills. It consists of a bright, colourful Excel file that is able to generate a random 4 digit number, and a worksheet. But that is all you need! Once the number has been generated, students are then challenged to write down things like: the biggest number, the smallest odd number, the smallest three digit number, the number closest to 3000, and to use each digit once to make the biggest total _ _ + _ _. Think of all the key numeracy skills students are practising here. And there is potential for even more, as we will see shortly!

**How can it be used?**

We have started using this once a week with our lower Year 7 and Year 8 classes, and it has been a huge success. We have printed out loads of copied if the worksheet so they are to hand in classrooms whenever they are needed, and then no preparation is needed at all. I use this at the start of a lesson, give the students around five minutes to complete, and then talk through the answers. There is always at least of couple of controversial questions that cause some discussion. So, this resource is excellent as it stands, but I think it could be made even better by the addition of a few extra questions to accompany the selection of numbers. How about asking some/all of the following:

What is the largest factor of 3?

What is the largest 2 digit prime number?

What is the smallest multiple of 12?

What is the biggest total _ _ – _ _?

What is the biggest total _ x _ _ _?

The beauty is that every number-based topic you study probably lends itself to even more questions, so this really is the activity that keeps on giving

Thanks so much for sharing

Craig Barton

**Download: Place Value and Number Properties
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