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Mathematics which engages

Educator story

Teagan Ward
Noarlunga Downs P-7 School
Noarlunga Cluster

At the commencement of my contract at Noarlunga Downs I was presented with students who were at risk and/or not engaging with the traditional methods of mathematics teaching. At the start of my second year in the school I participated in Make It Count training with Marie Wright. This training allowed me to be educated in a new pedagogy which could be employed in this subject area. The pedagogy followed that of Accelerated Literacy which I had also been trained in earlier that year.

For my math lessons I utilised the Make It Count unit outline to teach concepts in number. I started teaching place value, before moving into addition, subtraction and multiplicative thinking. I noticed immediate results in student engagement. The hands-on activities in the application phase allowed students to demonstrate their learning through methods besides traditional worksheets and sums in workbooks.

The scaffolding, the outline of intended learning, and the questioning required the students to explain their understanding of the mathematics concept, rather than parrot back the correct answer to the teacher.

I am now starting to employ this pedagogy in other areas of mathematics besides number. Results from the PATMaths test show that student engagement in this subject area transfers to an increase in academic performance, with many now at or above their grade level for mathematics. I feel fortunate to have gained employment in this school, as this pedagogy has positively influenced my mathematics teaching.

I now enjoy teaching mathematics and acknowledge that it can be a ‘hands on’ subject beyond the junior primary years. This pedagogy is one that I would employ in any school to increase student engagement and understanding of mathematics.


This inspiring story connects to:


Finding 3.11: Represent
Encourage learners to represent their learning and thinking in a range of formats (e.g. verbally, physically, symbolically and with technology and not just pencil and paper).


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Mathematics which engages

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