Broken Calculator (2,3)

Use the keys on this broken calculator to make the totals from one to ten. Five has already been done as an example.

1 =
2 =
3 =
4 =
5 =
6 =
7 =
8 =
9 =
10 =



Try the pupil version of this activity at:

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day

More broken calculators at:

Topics: Starter | Arithmetic

  • Carla Libanati, London
  • This is an excellent way to make pupils think out of the box!
  • Mr. Poate, Whitecross
  • Simple and easy, could do with more of a challenge. Top set year 9.
  • Mrs Lingham's Year 8's, Harpenden
  • We enjoyed this starter but would like a plus sign please!!!!!
  • A Kirby, Solihull. UK
  • This was really well recieved by my 16 year olds. They wrote all possible solutions down on paper and we incorporated BIDMAS. They were frustrated by the lack of a + sign but this made them think outside the box.
  • Transum,
  • For many years I actually had a broken calculator just like this! It was an old cheap calculator that I'd pulled some buttons off. It made an excellent visual aid and stimulus for this activity. There are a number of different versions of the broken calculator activity on Transum that you can reach by clicking on the link lower down this page.
  • Mr Tilston, Twitter
  • Karen Donnelly, Twitter

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.
Click here to enter your comments.

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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



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