One Out Of Ten

In silence read the following carefully before starting work:

1. Add 17 to 170.
2. Multiply 12 by 2.
3. Subtract the first even number from the second square number.
4. Divide a million by a thousand.
5. Write out the first 20 multiples of 5.
6. Multiply this year by last year without using a calculator.
7. If a square is also a rectangle write down your age squared.
8. If finding a fraction of a number makes it smaller work out a half squared.
9. If 2(x + 3) = 6 + 2x  what is the value of x?
10. Write down all of the numbers which have 6 as a factor.

Now that you have read all of the questions do only question 1 then sit back with your arms folded and smile at your teacher.

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day

Topics: Starter | Fun

  • Transum,
  • The first of April is April Fools' Day. On this day it is customary to play practical jokes on people, causing them to believe something that isn’t true or to go on a fruitless errand. Tradition states that the jokes and pranks must end by midday.
  • Johnny Jackson, House
  • I was not fooled. If you guys were fooled, then you should read the questions CAREFULLY!
  • Year 9 maths student,
  • We did this in our maths class today it was so funny. This girl said really loudly "what's a million divided by a thousand?" and everyone was sitting there trying to work it out!
    The words "only question 1" caught my eye just as I was about to start and I was one of the first to figure it out!
    A great puzzle!
  • Mrs A Kennedy-Lewisiana, Oakington Manor
  • We were just looking around and i picked this activity starter. I tried this with my class(they're year 9 students)they all began to write the answers in silence(which was quite a surprise because my class are usually loud)-it took ages until they had finished answering the questions.After everyone had finished they sat there chattering. Then suddenly one boy in my class shouted look everyone read the bottom of the starter!
    Then everyone were very surprised and they all complained to me that why did i make them answer the questions!!
    I said to the students you should have read it!
    A few students told me they had read the part at the bottom but they did not want to say anything to the other students and ruin it.
    -This is a very funny starter and entertaining to watch the students to work it out.
  • Ms Vann, Dover
  • It was really funny watching the kids!! My green group (top group) realized that it only said do 1 Question- they just watched every one trying to work out the quetions carefully without a calculator!!
  • Rachael Baille & Kirsty McColm, Leswalt Primary School
  • We were too smart to be fooled by that.. our teacher gave us one of them last year and everyone was fooled!
  • Laura, Homechooled
  • I haven't been on here in a while and this was the 1st one I clicked on, what a good way to start the day!
  • Carolyn And Olivia, Cheadle Primary School
  • It was very funny to see everyone working out all the sums and staring at me and Carolyn and wondering why we weren't doing any work.
  • Mr Meftah, Colville
  • My pupils found this very interesting and said that it would help them get a high level 5.
  • Khira, Mearns Primary
  • I,m in p.6 and I was completely fooled.o.m.g what a great prank to start the day off.
  • Angel Johnson, Sacred Heart High Newcastle
  • So cool. Got up to number 5 and my sir asked everyone why they weren’t finished and read what the instructions said out loud and everyone began to laugh but the time was 1:30 so the kids weren’t fooled but sir was lol !
  • Claire, Holy Trintons Primary School
  • The class students found straight away where this sum was going to but I as a class teacher never realized!
  • Ibrahim, Byron Court Primary, Middlesex
  • Absolutely brilliant. I'm in year 6 but I wasn't fooled. Funnily enough only 1 other person realised. The teacher was astounded only 2 people got it. Eye tricking. LOL.
  • Imaan,
  • My friends all got fooled,even me but one of my friend did not fall for it.She was the only one in the entire class to not fall for it.
  • John Tom, International School
  • Very nice exercise! Most people got tricked - but I didn't - yay! happy April fools!
  • Raphael,
  • That's funny, I did it myself, but I didn't read the bottom. Happy April fools day.

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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The answer is 187

Did you do questions 2 to 10 also?



Other Solutions For Those Fooled!


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Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers?
Do they have iPads or Laptops in Lessons?

Whether your students each have a TabletPC, a Surface or a Mac, this activity lends itself to eLearning (Engaged Learning).

Laptops In Lessons

Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.

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

Student Activity


Chapter 1 of Raymond Smullyan’s book, What is the Name of the Book, begins with the following:

My introduction to logic was at the age of six. It happened this way: On April 1, 1925, I was sick in bed with grippe, or flu, or something. In the morning my brother Emile (ten years my senior) came into my bedroom and said: "Well, Raymond, today is April Fool's Day, and I will fool you as you have never been fooled before!" I waited all day long for him to fool me, but he didn't. Late that night, my mother asked me, "Why don't you go to sleep?" I replied, 'I'm waiting for Emile to fool me." My mother turned to Emile and said, "Emile, will you please fool the child!" Emile then turned to me, and the following dialogue ensued:

Emile: So, you expected me to fool you, didn't you?

Raymond: Yes.

Emile: But I didn't, did I?

Raymond: No.

Emile: But you expected me to, didn't you?

Raymond: Yes.

Emile: So I fooled you, didn't I!

Well, I recall lying in bed long after the lights were turned out wondering whether or not I had really been fooled. On the one hand, if I wasn't fooled, then I did not get what I expected, hence I was fooled. (This was Emile's argument.)

But with equal reason it can be said that if I was fooled, then I did get what I expected, so then, in what sense was I  fooled. So, was I fooled or wasn't I?

This is an example of a paradox.


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