There is a way to practise maths that looks like doing it backwards, but actually is a far more effective and creative way to practice recall of arithmetic facts.

#### Expanding Numbers

Start with a number such as 12 and write it in the centre of the sheet. Your goal is to see how many calculations you can find that equal it. You can also find information about special numbers nearby that number.

This is a much more creative and open approach to practise. You do not need to spend a long time on it but try to do it regularly. Even better, do this with friends/family and see who comes up with the most unusual calculation.

#### Expanding using Prime Colours

Prime Colours lends itself to this style of practice. Each card gets you to think about the calculations that result in the number. The card on the right is the number 20.

Depending on the Prime Colours’ activities that you’ve done, you could find any of the following calculations.

4 x 5 | 2 x 10 | 10 + 10 | 12 + 8 | 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6

Getting to know numbers in this way is what real fluency is about. You can work collaboratively on a sheet and of course upgrade a sheet that is too easy by finding something else to find.

If you can take a few cards with you, in your pocket say, you can do this practice any time you have a spare minute and before long, you will have build up valuable connections between numbers.