Teacher Talk: Countdown to Christmas!

In this week’s Teacher Talk we asked the Maths department to give us a taste of some of the fun things they do at Christmas. One fun starter or plenary is playing Countdown – let’s have a look at how they do it.

Onto the Countdown to Christmas!

On behalf of the Maths department at Spark, we’ve decided to give you all some gifts that only a maths teacher can give;

Countdown Puzzles!


How do you play Countdown?


We give you a target number and 6 numbers to work with… The aim is to make the target number and you can only use each of the 6 numbers once.

At Spark, we always give worked examples in our Maths lessons, so this will be no different!

So for the first puzzle, we have these numbers:


countdown 1 e1513193614977 - Spark Academy


So we need to use the numbers 100, 25, 1, 7, 10 and 7 to get to the grand total of 510.


Have a go yourself and see what answer your get!


countdown 2 e1513193641438 - Spark Academy


It looks like Chris got the right answer! Hope you did too!


Let’s try another one!


countdown 3 e1513193694104 - Spark Academy


Before you scroll down to see if Chris has figured it out… Can you get to the target number? Comment if you managed it!


countdown 4 e1513193720263 - Spark Academy


Whoops! Chris was only one away from the final answer! So near, yet so far! Could you get the right number?

Oh dear, it looks like Chris is struggling with this next one. I think we should leave this one to you guys to have a go at yourself! Comment below with your closest answer and method!

countdown 5 e1513193746515 - Spark Academy


Happy Christmas everyone, don’t forget to enjoy some pi over the festive season!