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Teaching notes Teaching notes Unit 1

1 Integers

★ Recognise negative numbers as positions on a number line
★ Order, add and subtract negative numbers in context
★ Recognise multiples, factors, common factors and primes, all less than 100, making use of simple
tests of divisibility
★ Find the lowest common multiple in simple cases
★ Use the ‘sieve’ for generating primes developed by Eratosthenes
★ Recognise squares of whole numbers to at least 20 × 20 and the corresponding square roots
★ Use the notation 72 and 49
★ Consolidate the rapid recall of multiplication facts to 10 × 10 and associated division facts
★ Know and apply tests of divisibility by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 100.
★ Use inverse operations to simplify calculations with whole numbers
★ Recognise mathematical properties, patterns and relationships, generalising in simple cases

Possible lessons
Number of
Resources in Resources in Resources in
Lesson Topic 40-minute
Coursebook Practice Book Teacher’s Resource
Using negative
1 1 Pages 8–9 Page 7
Adding and
2 subtracting negative 1 Page 10 Page 8 Resource sheet 1.2
3 Multiples 1 Page 11 Page 9
Factors and tests for
4 2 Pages 12–13 Page 10 Resource sheet 1.4
5 Prime numbers 2 Pages 14–15 Pages 10–11 Resource sheet 1.5
Squares and square
6 1 Pages 16–17 Page 11

Assumed prior knowledge

• Students may have some elementary knowledge of factors, multiples and prime numbers, from stage 6, but this
is not an essential requirement.

Copyright Cambridge University Press 2012 Cambridge Checkpoint Mathematics 7 1

Unit 1 Teaching notes

Lesson 1  1.1 Using negative numbers

Coursebook pages 8–9

Key words
whole number positive number
negative number integer
Main teaching points
• Students need to be familiar with the concept of a number line displaying positive and negative numbers. It is
conventional to have positive numbers going up or to the right, negative numbers going down or to the left.
Use a temperature scale as an example. Larger numbers correspond to higher temperatures, smaller numbers to
lower temperatures.
• Explain addition and subtraction of a positive integer in the context of a temperature rising (going up) or falling
(going down). It might be helpful to remind students of the extremely low temperatures, for example, at the
poles of the Earth or at which some gases liquefy.
• Adding or subtracting negative integers will be covered in the next topic.

Common misunderstandings and misconceptions

• Students sometimes think that −5 is less than −10 because 5 is less than 10. Thinking about temperature can
clarify this point. As the level on the scale drops, the temperature falls.

• Let students work in groups of two or three. Each group needs a coin, a dice, a number line to represent a
thermometer and a counter for each student. Choose one side of the coin to represent ‘add’ and the other side to
represent ‘subtract’; alternatively, stick pieces of paper on the coin with these words written on them.
• Each student puts their counter on 0 °C to start. Each student in turn throws the dice and the coin and moves
the counter the appropriate distance up or down the thermometer.
• The winner is the first student to get their counter back to 0. Alternatively, the winner could be the closest to 0
after a fixed number of throws (five, say) with a draw decided by a further throw.

Comments on questions
• Q4  This generates a number sequence, increasing by 3 from left to right. Thinking of the sequence as going
from right to left, the numbers are decreasing by 3 at each step. Ask students to continue the sequence.
• Q8  This is an example that applies negative numbers in a context other than temperature. You could develop
this further by discussing what would happen if students took the top of the hill as zero. What would sea level be
in that case? What about the bottom of the hill?
• Q9, Q10  These calculations are restricted to addition or subtraction of a positive number, so students can use
the temperature model.

• Practice Book page 7

Lesson 2  1.2 Adding and subtracting integers

Coursebook page 10

Main teaching points

• In the previous topic, students were adding and subtracting positive numbers. Now they will learn how to add
or subtract negative numbers.
• Again, each number in an addition can be thought of as a change in temperature. So, for example, 5 + −7 means
‘up 5 and then down 7 degrees’ with a net result of −2. Encourage students to write this as 5 + −7 = −2.
• A subtraction can be thought of as the difference between two temperatures. 4 − −2 means a change from −2 to
4, which is an increase of 6. Encourage students to write this as 4 − −2 = 6. Use a number line to demonstrate
this. Students need to practise subtracting negative numbers until they are confident they can do it correctly.

2 Cambridge Checkpoint Mathematics 7 Copyright Cambridge University Press 2012

Teaching notes Unit 1
Common misunderstandings and misconceptions
• Students counting across 0 will sometimes forget to include the zero in their counting. A neatly drawn number
line is a useful reminder.

Problem solving
• The problem solving objective ‘use inverse operations to simplify calculations with whole numbers’ can be
addressed in this topic, through the idea that subtracting a positive number is the same as adding a negative
number. The latter is often easier to do.

• Let students work in groups of two or three. Each group will need a number line as the playing board, a dice
with the six faces numbered 1, 2, 3, −1, −2, −3 and a counter for each student. The dice can be made by sticking
a piece of paper over each face of a normal dice. An alternative is to use a set of cards. There is a template for
these in Resource sheet 1.2. If these cards are used, put them in a pile, face down.
• Each player puts a counter on zero to start. Each student, in turn, rolls the dice or takes a card in turn and moves
the counter according to the number showing. There are three different variations of the game that can be
played. They are of increasing difficulty.
* Variation 1: Add the number to the current position number and move to the new position.
* Variation 2: Subtract the number from the current position number and move to the new position.
* Variation 3: The student must choose whether the number will be added to or subtracted from the current
position number. The choice can be made after turning over the card.
The winner is either the first to get back to zero or the closest after a specified number of moves, such as five.

Comments on questions
• Q5  If two numbers are being added, the order can be changed without changing the answer. Students may find
it easier to change, say, 3 + −5 to −5 + 3 so that they are adding a positive number instead of a negative one.
• Q6  If the order of a subtraction is changed then the answer will also change (unless the answer is 0). Students
need to understand that subtraction is different from addition in this respect.

• Practice Book page 8

Lesson 3  1.3 Multiples

Coursebook page 11

Key words
multiple lowest common multiple
common multiple
Main teaching points
• Students are familiar with multiples: they learn them when they learn multiplication facts. They should be able
to recall multiplication facts up to 10 × 10, and the associated division facts, quickly. It would be helpful to take
the opportunity to practise these with some quick oral questions.
• Students should be able to find common multiples, and hence the lowest common multiple, of two numbers by
using their knowledge of the multiples of each number. Formal methods, using prime factors, are not required at
this stage.
Common misunderstandings and misconceptions
• Multiples do not cause many problems but students need to be clear about the distinction between multiples and
factors. Factors are introduced in the next lesson.
Problem solving
• The problem solving objective ‘use inverse operations to simplify calculations with whole numbers’ is addressed
in Activity 1. The variation, when numbers are written within the body of the table, reinforces the fact that

Copyright Cambridge University Press 2012 Cambridge Checkpoint Mathematics 7 3

Unit 1 Teaching notes

multiplication and division are inverse operations. Some students will know this term; others might be more
familiar with the idea of ‘doing the opposite’. Students will complete the task more easily if they are familiar with
division facts associated with multiplication facts. Emphasise the idea that when students memorise 7 × 9 = 63
they should also think of it as 63 ÷ 9 = 7 and 63 ÷ 7 = 9. Use the term ‘inverse operation’ so that students become
familiar with this concept. Point out that addition and subtraction are also inverse operations.
• The problem solving objective ‘recognise mathematical properties, patterns and relationships, generalising in
simple cases’ is addressed in Activity 2. In Activity 2, ask students to describe the pattern they see and then say
how it will continue. Encourage them to generalise the result. For example, every third multiple has a particular

Activity 1
• A useful activity for checking on mental multiplication skills is to write up a grid with numbers along the top
row and down the left-hand column. Students must fill in the results of multiplying the numbers, as quickly as
possible. Here is an example.
× 3 8 5 2

The numbers can be set at random and the size of the table may be varied. Offering some sort of reward for the
fastest completion of a correct grid will encourage speed.
• As a variation, put some numbers in the body of the table and omit one or more of the main row or column
numbers. This will give practice in associated division facts.

Activity 2
• Ask students to write down the multiplication facts for 37; 1 × 37, 2 × 37, and so on, as far as 12 × 37. This
is much easier than students might expect, once they spot the patterns in the answers. These are clear if the
numbers are written out in three columns.
37 74 111
148 185 222
259 296 333
370 407 444
Ask students to state other multiples of 37 that are easy to find. Examples are 15 × 37, 18 × 37, and so on.
• Emphasise that looking for and finding a pattern in the answers makes it easy to answer further questions.
• Ask students if they can generalise this result. Can they describe, for example, the number in the third column?
• Ask the students if the pattern in the third column continues for ever and, if not, why it breaks down. (It breaks
down after 999 because after this figures need to be carried into the next column.)

Comments on questions
• Q5  This reinforces the idea that multiples form a sequence in which successive terms differ by a constant
• Q8  Students are looking for a number that is a multiple of 8 and also a multiple of 12.
• Q9  One way to approach this is to see that the answer is one more than a common multiple of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Since 6 is a multiple of 2 and 3, students only need to look at multiples of 4, 5 and 6.

• Ask students who cannot yet recall all multiplication facts up to 10 × 10 to practise them. Asking someone to ask
them questions at random is a good way to do this.
• Practice Book page 9

4 Cambridge Checkpoint Mathematics 7 Copyright Cambridge University Press 2012

Teaching notes Unit 1

Lesson 4  1.4 Factors and tests for divisibility

Coursebook pages 12–13

Key words
factor common factor
remainder divisible
Main teaching points
• Students need to know that a factor of a number divides into that number without a remainder. Looking for
numbers that multiply to give the number in question will usually provide at least two factors. Thus the fact that
3 × 8 = 24 means that both 3 and 8 are factors of 24.
• Factors and multiples are related. Noting that 3 is a factor of 24 is equivalent to saying that 24 is a multiple of 3.
Students need to be aware of this connection.
• Students should seek factors systematically, first 1 ×  , then 2 ×  , then 3 × and so on. Factors always
occur in pairs. Even the square root is multiplied by itself. Therefore, when looking for factors, students do not
need to go beyond the square root of the number. At this stage, however, students are probably unfamiliar with
square roots. If they search for factors systematically they can stop when factors start to repeat. This is shown in
the worked example.
• A common factor of two numbers is a number that is a factor of both. This is similar to the idea of a common
multiple. Students need to be able to find common factors in simple cases by comparing the factors of the two
numbers in question.
• Students need to know the tests for divisibility that are outlined in the Coursebook. Those for 2, 5, 10 and
100 are straightforward. It is worth explaining the tests for 3 and 9, with a few examples, to ensure students
understand them. Knowing these rules makes it easier to find factors.

Common misunderstandings and misconceptions

• Students often forget that 1 and the number itself are always factors of any given number.
• Students can miss factors if they do not look for them systematically, as described above.

• This is a game for two students. They start with the integers from 1 to 20. They could just write these numbers
down and cross them off as the players take them. Alternatively, use a set of number cards made from Resource
sheet 1.4. The cards are placed face up, in order, on the table so that the numbers can all be clearly seen.
• Call one student A and the other B. Student A chooses one number or card. The rule is that A can only take a
number or card if there will be at least one factor of that number left on the table. Student B then takes all the
factors of the number chosen by A. For example, if A chooses 15, then B may take 1, 3 and 5, or as many of those
as are left on the table. If none of these is on the table then A cannot take 15.
• A then chooses another number and the game continues until A is unable to take any more numbers. B then
takes all the numbers that are left.
• The players now add up the numbers on their cards and the player with the higher total is the winner.
• The players should then play again, with A and B swapping roles.
• There is scope for a lot of discussion about the best strategy for A to adopt. A can win by making the right

Comments on questions
• Q4  All the numbers except 21 have just two factors. This is because all except 21 are prime numbers, a concept
that will be discussed in the next topic. Without using the word ‘prime’, you could ask students to find other
numbers with just two factors.
• Q5  All numbers with exactly three factors are square numbers. Square numbers will be discussed in a later
topic. All square numbers have an odd number of factors.

Copyright Cambridge University Press 2012 Cambridge Checkpoint Mathematics 7 5

Unit 1 Teaching notes

• Q6, Q7  Students should realise that 2, 3 and 4 are likely to be among the factors, so the multiples of 6 or 12 are a
good place to look.
• Q8  Two of the factors will be 1 and the number, so the number must be odd. It must also be a product of two
other odd numbers.

• Practice Book page 10

Lesson 5  1.5 Prime numbers

Coursebook pages 14–15

Key words
prime number (prime)
sieve of Eratosthenes
Main teaching points
• Prime numbers are numbers that have exactly two factors, 1 and the number itself. Students will have identified
some of these in the previous topic. They may be called ‘prime numbers’ or just ‘primes’. Either term can be
• There is only one even prime number, which is 2. There are 25 prime numbers less than 100 and students need
to be able to recognise them. They are the numbers that do not occur in ‘times tables’ except on the first line as
1 × the number.
• There is an infinite number of prime numbers. Large prime numbers are used to provide secure encoding of
sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, in computers and on the internet.

Common misunderstandings and misconceptions

• Students may forget that 1 is not a prime number. Remind them that a prime number must have two different
• When looking for prime numbers less than 100, students are often caught out by 91. It is 7 × 13 and is not prime.

Problem solving
• The problem solving objective ‘recognise mathematical properties, patterns and relationships, generalising in
simple cases’ is addressed in the activity below and in several questions in the exercise, particularly in questions
6 and 8. In the activity students will see the patterns made by multiples of 2 and 3, and so on. Encourage them to
use these patterns to complete the colouring and also to spot errors where the pattern is broken.
• In question 6 there are still patterns when the array is written in a different way, although the patterns change.
Question 8 gives an example in which a generalisation breaks down, emphasising the need to be careful not to
generalise too early, without sufficient evidence.

• Students need to be familiar with the method for finding the prime numbers, known as the sieve of
Eratosthenes. It is convenient to carry this out on an array of numbers, such as that provided on Resource
sheet 1.5. This includes the numbers from 1 to 150. Alternatively, students can write out their own arrays. The
procedure is as follows.
* Cross out the number 1.
* Circle the next number, which is 2.
* Cross out all the other multiples of 2.
* Circle the next uncrossed number (3) and cross out all the other multiples of that number.
* Continue in this way. Since 4 has been crossed out already, the next number to be circled will be 5.
• Students do not need to list all the multiples of 3 (for example); it is sufficient just to cross off every third
number. Take care − one error and the entire table can be ruined.
• Students will find that after 5 they will circle 7, 11, 13 and so on. On the grid of 150 numbers there will be no
more crossing out to be done after 11 × 13 = 143. After that all the numbers left will be prime. The reason is that
if two numbers are being multiplied and both of them are bigger that 12 then the answers will be at least 13 × 13
= 169 and so it will be off the grid.

6 Cambridge Checkpoint Mathematics 7 Copyright Cambridge University Press 2012

Teaching notes Unit 1
• Discuss any patterns in the grid; for example, columns headed 4, 8 and 10 are completely crossed out. Columns
headed 2 and 5 are crossed out after the first number.
• The method can be used to find bigger prime numbers but the array will need to be extended to do this.
• Less able students could use grids of reduced size, only including numbers up to 100. The lower rows on the
resource sheet can be removed or deleted.

Comments on questions
• Q5  Students can use a copy of the array used for the sieve of Eratosthenes to search for these.
• Q6  The array used for the sieve of Eratosthenes does not have to have ten columns. Different patterns emerge if
a different number of rows is used. This example shows that it can be unwise to generalise on the basis of limited
• Q7  Students can use tests for divisibility for 2, 3 and 5 for this question. Encourage students to be methodical,
starting with small prime numbers and eliminating those that are not factors.
• Q8  This works for a quite a while but fails when it reaches 121, which is 11 × 11 and so is not a prime number.
The question shows the danger of jumping to a conclusion without enough evidence.
• Q9  Goldbach’s Conjecture states that every even number larger than 2 can be written as the sum of two prime
numbers. There may be more than one way to do this. It is called a conjecture because no proof has yet been

• Practice Book pages 10–11

Lesson 6  1.6 Squares and square roots

Coursebook pages 16–17

Key words
square number (square)
square root
Main teaching points
• Any whole number multiplied by itself results in a square number, which can be represented by dots arranged in
a square.
• Students need to understand the index notation for the square of a number. The product 4 × 4 can be written in
a shorter form, as 42. Students should understand that 42 = 4 × 4 = 16.
• Inverse operations occur frequently in mathematics. Examples of inverse operations include add and subtract,
multiply and divide. It is important that students understand the term.
• The inverse operation that relates to squaring is taking the square root. Students need to recognise the symbol
 for this. Although 16 = 4 and 42 = 16 may look different, they are just two ways of saying the same thing.
• Students will have a square-root button on their calculators but they should not need to use these for the
problems in this section. They should be able to recognise the squares of whole numbers up to 20 × 20 = 400
and the corresponding square roots.

Common misunderstandings and misconceptions

• Students can make the mistake of thinking that 42 means 4 × 2 instead of 4 × 4. Reinforce the correct meaning as
much as possible.

Problem solving
• Squaring and finding the square root are further examples of inverse operations. Point out the connection with
inverse operations, as discussed in lesson 3. If students have learnt the square numbers up to 400 they will be
able to recognise the whole numbers up to 400 that have a whole-number square root. They will also be able to
find an approximation to a square root by finding a square number that is close to the number in question.
• Question 9 in the exercise reinforces the fact that squaring and finding the square root are inverse operations.
Students will use the fact implicitly in question 8. Discuss these points with the students after they have
completed the exercise.

Copyright Cambridge University Press 2012 Cambridge Checkpoint Mathematics 7 7

Unit 1 Teaching notes

• The activity below gives another opportunity to recognise simple patterns and generalise in simple cases. For
example, the sum of the first N odd numbers is N 2.

• Display a diagram like this and explain that it shows the number 32.

• The colouring shows that 32 = 1 + 3 + 5.

• Now let students produce their own drawings to show similar patterns for different square numbers. The general
result is that the sum of the first N odd numbers is N 2. Ask students to try to make a general statement from
their individual examples. They may not use a concise algebraic formulation but that is not essential at this stage.
• Ask students to explain how they could use this result to find the sum of the first 20 odd numbers.
• This diagram shows a different way of dividing up a square number.

In this case, the colouring shows that 32 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 1.

Again, students can make drawings for different square numbers.
• The students could be asked to produce a wall display illustrating different square numbers.

Comments on questions
• Q6  Usually each multiplication that results in a number will provide two factors for that number. The exception
is for a square number, which will include N × N = N2. For that reason square numbers (and only square
numbers) have an odd number of factors.
• Q9  This question reinforces the fact that ‘square’ and ‘square root’ are inverse operations.
• Q11  Looking at the final digits of 12, 22, 32, …, …, students may see that they form a repeating sequence of
length ten that only includes the digits 0, 1, 4, 5, 6 and 9. No square number ends with 2, 3, 7 or 8.

• Ask students to memorise the square numbers up to 20 × 20 = 400.
• Practice Book page 11

8 Cambridge Checkpoint Mathematics 7 Copyright Cambridge University Press 2012