Please note: Back to Front Maths resources for F-8 now comply with the Australian Curriculum version 9.
Check out our new resources for “Essential Maths” which also support much of the years 7-9 curriculum.
Our April 2023 journal paper on a balanced approach, including stats for 3 schools over 3 years: QAMT article: Improving Learning Rates on Standardised Testing Through a Balanced Teaching Cycle: A Tale of Three Schools (Published in April 2023, pages 10-17 of Teaching Mathematics).
We get students to think hard and explore new concepts BEFORE the teacher gives the formal explanations.
This helps the maths to stick better, builds new connections in the brain and significantly improves student results as well as making maths much more engaging.
Our Published Research: Kennedy – Intervention using challenging tasks and conceptual change
How it works:
Back to Front Maths is a teaching approach rather than a set of resources. In this approach, students:
- Start by experimenting with unfamiliar concepts to develop new ideas. This process also guides the teacher to uncover and confront misconceptions.
- Explore their new ideas and connect them with more familiar maths.
- Formalise their findings into mathematical principles, including algorithms and formulae.
- Extend and generalise the new mathematical principles that they have learned to other areas of the curriculum.
Evidence: PAT Maths and NAPLAN Improvements
We have collected and analysed data from our projects for years, checking that Back to Front Maths significantly improves outcomes for students.
- In 2023, schools working in projects with us in 2022 have their NAPLAN results out. 77% have had their highest results (e.g., cohort gain, results compared to national levels) since 2019. Graphs are shown below for their year 3 and year 5 results.
- Our 2021 project schools experienced a 40% improvement in their growth rates on PAT Maths (2935 students, 16 schools).
- Our peer-reviewed data shows that the lowest 20% of students learned at more than double the government expectations on PAT Maths when using Back to Front Maths and the Fixing Misconceptions series. In fact, in 2020 these students progressed at 2.98 times the expected rate compared to government expectations on PAT Maths.
- Our international conference papers explain how conceptual change questioning works, and why it improves learning for high-achievers as well as students who struggle.
- Our three-year project schools show that students have increased their percentile rankings from the 53rd to the 73rd percentile (see the paper at the top of this page).
- Our NAPLAN results also show statistically significant higher cohort growth than like-school levels, and schools working with us on projects have closed the gap to like national levels despite the pandemic:
Here are the PAT Maths results from every school working with us in 2021. The data includes 2935 students from year 3 and up.
Schools that work with us for longer tend to have significantly larger improvements. Here is the PAT data from students that remained in our schools so that we could track their results across 4 successive PAT tests (data from 3 schools).
This approach actually works. Our data consistently shows students learning at a significantly faster rate than their peers nationally, as well as a faster rate than they achieved before starting. We collect and check data every year to make sure.
All subscribers to our website can access:
Sequential Lesson plans and Printable Tasks for all year levels:
Printable activities with adaptable lesson plans include Journal problems for introducing new concepts through problem-solving and addressing misconceptions, as well as Blast activities for using questioning to build the deep understanding necessary to develop mathematically. Additional fluency tasks and games help students to develop skills. Professional learning videos include over 30 hours of recorded lessons, strategies, content teaching and pedagogical discussions. These videos include 8 flexible strategies that can be used to teach all content from F-9.
- Sample – Year 3 lesson on introducing numbers bigger than 100
- Sample – Fluency activity: Make ten dominoes
High school teachers will love our new Essential Maths resources, which not only meet the AC requirements for the year 11 and 12 subjects, but also meet much of the years 7-9 curriculum.
Assessment Matrices and Moderation Tasks:
A range of criteria sheets, assessment schedules and explanations are provided in both teacher and parent-friendly language. Moderation tasks are also included for taking base-line, mid-year and end-year standardised measurements. These tasks are designed with deliberately low-level content, but with very non-standard thinking, to more accurately pinpoint growth in problem-solving, reasoning and understanding.
Investigations for Multiple Levels and Student-Friendly Extension Tasks:
Each investigation and extension task is designed to cover concepts from across at least three year levels. These engaging, real-life tasks are designed to take a significant amount of time and cover multiple concepts.
What would you like to find out next?
- How the program and resources work
- How to plan your year program
- What I need to know about the Australian Curriculum
- Booking Professional Learning
- Upcoming Training Events
- Read about Our Consultants