Articles

Below are a series of helpful articles.

Assessment

Assessment: getting everything done

By Tierney Kennedy  How do we get everything done? Good assessment takes time.  It is important to make sure that your grading decisions are not made on the basis of only one or two measures, but on the clear progress … READ MORE

Assessment samples to download

We have included here some assessment samples to download, with the aim of coming to a joint understanding of what the criteria mean and how to assign a grade.  Remember to download the June 2013 edition of The Insightful Classroom … READ MORE

Five-minute diagnostic tasks to assess your students' understanding of number

These tasks are designed to take 5-10 minutes to complete with each class. They will give you a very quick idea of how successful your current approaches are at dealing with the major student misconceptions about number.  Please take 5 … READ MORE

Classroom Tips

The danger of "either/or" teaching

Ending the debate: Which teaching approach is most effective? Tierney Kennedy In 1997 a landmark study in the UK decided to define effective teaching using student improvement data… if you haven’t read it, the findings might be surprising When I … READ MORE

The time crunch: buying yourself an extra hour every week

By Tierney Kennedy I firmly believe that the most important and most effective thing that we can do with our classes is problem-solving.  And yet far and away the biggest complaint that I hear teachers express on Professional Development sessions … READ MORE

My top ten rotation group activities:

I find that having a bank of regularly-used, highly-motivating and quick rotation group activities saves me a lot of time and headaches when using rotation groups.  Here are my top ten activities.  If you are a member of the Back-to-Front … READ MORE

Content Teaching Tips

Nine great ways to use dice to build number understanding and fluency

Dice are fantastic for simple mental maths exercises! Here are a few simple ideas for games that work to build fluency with operations from the Fluency Tasks members section of the Back to Front Maths website: Roll 3 dice and … READ MORE

Fluency with flexibility

While fluency is not the be all and end all of maths, having a bank of known facts and strategies that you can use efficiently, accurately, appropriate and flexibly is definitely an asset! Here are some principles to keep in … READ MORE

Teaching division with blocks and arrays

Let’s face it, kids really, really don’t get division.  Here are a few simple strategies to help make it happen. For more help, check out Fixing Misconceptions in Multiplication and Division To get started, try using numbers that don’t divide … READ MORE

Differentiation

What to do when kids already know everything - serious maths extension

Download this article here:  What to do when kids already know everything Sometimes when teaching, we come across a student who blows our mind. It seems like they either already know everything that we are trying to teach, or are … READ MORE

Making Extension Manageable

Key 1: Make the maths weirder rather than making the numbers harder Give the starting and ending numbers and ask, “What happened?” Work backwards from the end point to the start. Have a gap in the question. Ask “What if…?” … READ MORE

Using Rotation Groups Successfully

By Tierney Kennedy Activities are at this link. Watch a free video explanation here Buy convenient, pre-made cards here Almost every lower primary classroom that I have been into has used rotation groups for literacy.  Yet when this same approach … READ MORE

Leaders

The danger of "either/or" teaching

Ending the debate: Which teaching approach is most effective? Tierney Kennedy In 1997 a landmark study in the UK decided to define effective teaching using student improvement data… if you haven’t read it, the findings might be surprising When I … READ MORE

27 homework tasks that help make maths part of everyday life

Parents often want to help their kids with maths, but aren’t sure how to help. Here are 27 ideas ranging from breakfast, to car trips, to grocery shopping, to afternoon tea, to pocket money and just about everything in between. … READ MORE

The power of confronting questions

When kids have persistent misconceptions it can be really hard to help them change their minds.  Try thinking of teaching like doing a science experiment, where they have to disprove their own hypothesis before they will listen to yours. Here … READ MORE

Miscellaneous

Supporting Mathematics Teaching - 2018 webinar series

Over the past two years we have supported well over 100 schools around Australia with excellent online learning, targeted to what teachers need.  Our partnership data shows that schools who participated had double the student growth of those who did … READ MORE

Partnership Training Opportunities

Partnership Training and Resourcing for a full year for up to 40 teachers: Following several highly-successful projects in SA Partnerships, we are increasingly being asked to run training for full-year projects as well as advanced training for Partnership Numeracy Coordinators … READ MORE

Interventions series

Looking for the resources that go with this series?  Click here It can be incredibly frustrating to us as teachers when we spend time teaching a concept only to find that the students don’t seem to have understood any of … READ MORE

Misconceptions

The power of confronting questions

When kids have persistent misconceptions it can be really hard to help them change their minds.  Try thinking of teaching like doing a science experiment, where they have to disprove their own hypothesis before they will listen to yours. Here … READ MORE

Finishing strong - making those last few weeks count (plus a free offer to boot)

As term 4 is upon us many teachers are struggling with how to get everything done.  Realistically, now is the time for prioritizing rather than frantic teaching.  Think about what the teacher next year needs the kids to still remember … READ MORE

Fixing Misconceptions in Place Value to 1000

We have exciting news to share! Our new Interventions project, Fixing Misconceptions in Place Value to 1000, has been receiving some fantastic feedback from teachers as well as great improvement data from both individual teachers and government projects since its … READ MORE

Parents

27 homework tasks that help make maths part of everyday life

Parents often want to help their kids with maths, but aren’t sure how to help. Here are 27 ideas ranging from breakfast, to car trips, to grocery shopping, to afternoon tea, to pocket money and just about everything in between. … READ MORE

How to teach Addition and Subtraction free flipbook

Addition and subtraction of small numbers is a very big part of lower-primary teaching, and one that kids can struggle with still in their teens. Download this FREE flip book containing developmentally sequenced strategies for introducing addition and subtraction for … READ MORE

Awesomely cool maths ideas for parents

Would you like to be able to help your kids to understand maths better?  Why not try implementing some of these really simple ideas to make maths part of your everyday life?  There’s nothing tricky on this list… just ideas … READ MORE

Proficiency strands

Fluency with flexibility

While fluency is not the be all and end all of maths, having a bank of known facts and strategies that you can use efficiently, accurately, appropriate and flexibly is definitely an asset! Here are some principles to keep in … READ MORE

Connecting and generalising questions

Great questioning is an art, but can be tricky to develop. Here is a simple video showing some connecting and generalising questions being used with a year 7 class.

What do the proficiency strands mean?

Fluency in the Australian Curriculum refers to building students’ content, basic skills, speed and accuracy in routine questions. Routine questions are those that students have been shown how to solve, whether these involve a single step, multiple steps, remembering a formula, … READ MORE