A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day


Try many different starting numbers in the flowchart above and write down your findings in an organised way.

1. Which starting number between 5 and 10 will reach one the fastest?

2. Which starting number between 11 and 20 will reach one the fastest?

3. Can you predict which number between 11 and 100 will reach one the fastest?

Topics: Starter | Arithmetic | Investigations | Number

  • Kerry Grindle, Litherland High School
  • On the Starter of the Day for October 13th, if you follow the flow chart exactly then the number 1 should never have been written down at the end.
  • Graham Ingram, Furness School
  • Excellent 10 GI love it
  • Mr Fawer, Class 6
  • My class loved it.
  • Borris, Ilkeston
  • The lowest power of 2 that is also bigger than 5 is 8, which is the answer.
  • Mr M's Year 8s, Canggu Community School
  • This gave Aria a headache, but everyone else loved it! Thanks :).
  • Year 6, Bryanston Square CE
  • We struggled with this and failed to understand how so many numbers were generated. Is this higher level maths?
  • David, Illinois
  • The end of the flowchart should go to the second bubble, "write it down," not the first.
    This is an employment of the Collatz Conjecture http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collatz_conjecture, basically, any number (save for a few) should eventually end at 1.

    [Transum: Thanks David for sharing the link to the Collatz Conjecture information. Regarding the flow chart, it is meant to show returning to the second bubble.]
  • Class 5, Lady Royd PS
  • We found it easy and loved it.
  • XD,
  • You should have never have said over 5. You should have said 5 to a limit because kids start choosing numbers like 1,000,000 and then it's too hard so they give up.
  • Mr Poxon, Valley Gardens Middle School
  • Year 5 at VGMS enjoyed it. Got the understanding!

How did you use this starter? Can you suggest how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.
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Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers such as tablets, iPads or Laptops?  This page was really designed for projection on a whiteboard but if you really want the students to have access to it here is a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments:


However it would be better to assign one of the student interactive activities below.

Laptops In Lessons

Here is the URL which will take them to a related student activity.


Student Activity

Here is the URL which will take them to some more flowchart usage practice.


Student Activity

Here is the URL for the latest flowchart investigation.


Student Activity



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