Idea 263: FREE Differentiated Number Bonds to 20 Challenge Sheets



This is a resource I used as part of a review lesson to make sure number bonds to 20 was properly embedded; this is a Working Towards criterion at Year 2, but something I believe is actually a real challenge to get up to a very, very fluent standard even for high-achieving children. I’ll often see children having done the ‘hard part’ in a complex two-digit subtraction with bridging (eg 72-38) but writing the wrong answer just because they’ve slipped up on a very basic single-digit number bond.

I think multiple choice-style questions work very well in Maths, especially when modelled to the class so that they can see the mathematical reasoning behind how the correct option was chosen and how other options could be discounted. I seem to remember reading somewhere that in Shanghai Maths they have a saying: ‘the answer is only the beginning’, which I think is a good way of encapsulating that approach of expecting reasoning and justification from the pupils as to how they arrived at their final answer.

This resource has four differentiated challenge sheets based around number bonds within 20:

Base Camp has dots drawn for further support with smaller numbers. There are only three numbers to choose from to help children reason which two numbers to choose.

Hill Climber has slightly larger numbers with no dots, but all calculations shown are addition.

Mountaineer has larger numbers and a mix of addition and subtraction calculations.

Everest features finding three addends for the number 13, where each calculation the child writes needs to be different.

NOTE: So that children don’t think that the equals sign always has to go in the same place every time, some of the calculations featured are written in alternative forms. It is important for children to understand the function of the equals sign, but if this alternative layout is not something you’ve highlighted before it might be worth mentioning it before the children begin this task just so they don’t get confused!

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2 Responses to Idea 263: FREE Differentiated Number Bonds to 20 Challenge Sheets

  1. Tracey Lucas says:

    Thanks for this lovely resource, which, like all your others, will be incredibly useful. Unfortunately the first sheet has a blue background, as though you’d highlighted it or something. Is it possible to remove this please?
    Kind regards

    • theplews says:

      Hi, thanks for the comment and glad you’re finding the resources useful! The blue background is because I copied those examples out of a smartboard I’d made which had a blue background, but I’ve gone back and changed it to white for you now. Download it again and it’ll be fixed.


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