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

Resources for returning to the classroom

It is natural that kids’ experience of maths while learning at home will vary widely. To ensure your class works well over the remaining months of the year, we have put together some tools to support you. Please find below some … READ MORE

Failing fast and failing forward

Tierney Kennedy A few years ago mathematician Terence Tao created a Polymath[1] group to work on the Twin Prime Conjecture – a project where mathematicians collaborate together to solve vexing problems. As part of the approach, everyone agreed to immediately … READ MORE

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

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

Resources for returning to the classroom

It is natural that kids’ experience of maths while learning at home will vary widely. To ensure your class works well over the remaining months of the year, we have put together some tools to support you. Please find below some … READ MORE

Failing fast and failing forward

Tierney Kennedy A few years ago mathematician Terence Tao created a Polymath[1] group to work on the Twin Prime Conjecture – a project where mathematicians collaborate together to solve vexing problems. As part of the approach, everyone agreed to immediately … READ MORE

When kids get stuck and never catch up

Recently I’ve been pondering findings from a major report into Australian schooling that kids who are struggling in maths by the end of primary school often never catch up (Masters, 2009). I know it’s true in a lot of cases, … READ MORE

Leaders

What works and what doesn't in intervention - research summary

Some interventions that we try as schools are really effective, some less so.  This article will give you a comparative overview of a few of the most common ones, as well as some easy steps to take that are very … READ MORE

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

How to read my data

It’s that time of year again when everyone gets caught up with analysing data. I thought I’d put together a few tools to make life easier. Have fun playing with your numbers! Also, if you’d like to make life easier … READ MORE

Miscellaneous

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

My favourite maths teaching moment wasn't in maths!

By Tierney Kennedy  What is your favourite maths teaching moment?  One where you know that you made a life-changing difference?  My all-time favourite maths teaching moment was with a boy named “Rick”, and wasn’t actually in a maths class at … READ MORE

DVDs showing Tierney teaching in real classrooms now available!

In our most exciting news yet, we now have a DVD set showing Tierney Kennedy teaching eight Back to Front Maths lessons in real classrooms! See how to use problem-based teaching to diagnose and confront misconceptions, leading the students to … READ MORE

Misconceptions

What works and what doesn't in intervention - research summary

Some interventions that we try as schools are really effective, some less so.  This article will give you a comparative overview of a few of the most common ones, as well as some easy steps to take that are very … READ MORE

When kids get stuck and never catch up

Recently I’ve been pondering findings from a major report into Australian schooling that kids who are struggling in maths by the end of primary school often never catch up (Masters, 2009). I know it’s true in a lot of cases, … READ MORE

Intervention that works course resources

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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

Improving student reasoning

Kids who have a strong intuitive understanding of maths can sometimes have trouble slowing down their thinking to explain how they got the answer. Here are a few simple tips for helping them to work out what process they used. … 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.