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Supporting others

Orange East Teacher
Orange Cluster


Finding 1.3: Collaboration
Know that learners may prefer to collaborate rather than compete in their mathematics learning.


In Semester 1, the class completed a learning unit on Multiplication and Division. They had been working on learning times tables and developing number patterns on a weekly basis to develop general number knowledge and skills. The Multiplication and Division unit focused on using mental strategies to divide by a one digit number, recognising and using the division symbol, and developing an understanding of the inverse relationship between multiplication and division.

Student A (Year 3), an Indigenous student in the class, had been gradually developing his times table knowledge. However he had experienced difficulty understanding basic division concepts. He was reluctant to take part in learning activities about division and became withdrawn in some lessons. He was more willing to take part in hands-on activities and worked with teacher support to represent division by a one digit number using concrete materials. Student A could show division by sharing groups of counters, however he had difficulty explaining the concept or showing it in writing.

During one lesson the students were introduced to the inverse relationship between multiplication and division. This started with a yarn up (see Learning Map below) where the teacher described a situation about going on a school excursion with a class of students and having to break into smaller groups to take part in excursion activities. The teacher asked the students to think about how the ‘students’ could be grouped for excursion activities.

Several students volunteered ideas and built the discussion, with responses such as: “Let them choose which group to go to”; “How many activities are there?”; “Put them in groups of two so everyone has a friend”; “All the groups should be equal”. Students were then told there were 24 students on the excursion and the discussion continued...


The 8ways learning cycle or map designed from the 8ways of Aboriginal learning pedagogy framework.

Supporting others

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