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Big Picture

Our work is 100% professional development:

Across the nation
Around the world

Support for:

Systems
Districts
Schools
Teachers

This page is a summary of our philosophy, background, services and resources.

Green Line

Charter

To collect and retell stories of success to support the concept that:

All students can learn to work like a mathematician
in classrooms engineered to fascinate, captivate and absorb learners.

Curriculum Vision

The starting point for a professional mathematician is an:
interesting, meaningful, worthwhile problem
From here build a curriculum which juggles:
  • modelling how to work like a mathematician
    - Working Mathematically
  • inviting students to apply the model for themselves
  • developing a toolbox of mathematical skills
Curriculum Vision

 

Catch the Working Mathematically vision at: Cube Tube.

Green Line

Sections

Background
Mathematics Task Centre
Calculating Changes
Maths300
Professional Development
Off-the-shelf Programs
Tailored Programs
Research Evidence
Formal Research
Teacher Stories
Resources
eTasks
Maths With Attitude eManuals
Poly Plug
Calculating Changes Membership
Working Mathematically with Infants
Picture Puzzles
Menu Maths
Professor Morris Puzzles
Rotagrams
Maths At Home
Other documents
Maths300 ETuTE
Maths300 Membership (A.A.M.T.)

Green Line

Background

  • Our stories grow from teachers exploring the Mathematics Task Centre and Calculating Changes.
  • Many stories have also been shared through Maths300, which is managed by the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (A.A.M.T.).
  • The practical, hands-on nature of each story is intended to encourage debate about best teaching practice.
  • Teachers are invited to enter more deeply into the debate by trying ideas and resources in their classroom.
  • Services and resources integrate with all official curriculum documents.
  • Our inclusive teaching practices and resources have brought particular success to Indigenous students in a broad range of circumstances.

Mathematics Task Centre

  • Initiated by the experiences of the Task Centre Network which began in 1974.
  • Wisdom of practice collected and expanded as the Mathematics Task Centre Project from 1992 by Curriculum Corporation.
  • Extended, redesigned and refreshed within Mathematics Centre 2010-11.
  • Source of 241 hands-on problem solving tasks for Years 2-10 with answers and extensions provided as Task Cameos.
  • Classroom wisdom related to using tasks in structured, integrated ways.
  • Each task is an invitation to work like a mathematician.
  • Each task has a second life when converted to a whole class investigation which models the work of a mathematician.
  • Each task has a third life in which the teacher uses the Task Cameo to prepare an investigation guide which extends the task in either the invitation or modelling situation.
  • Each task is catalogued in the Task Library along with its Cameo, which can be accessed by clicking its photo.
  • Many tasks have been adapted for infant or senior years.

Calculating Changes

  • Established 1998, following trial networking from 1996.
  • Built on the work of projects such as the Calculator Aware Number (CAN) Project (UK 1985-89) and abundant research on using concrete materials.
  • Poly Plug (see Resources below) and calculators are assumed resources in network schools.
  • By engineering 'aha' moments in number the network aims to enhance children's number sense beyond what is normally expected for their age.
  • Teachers have developed Threaded Activities as a powerful teaching technique. These are rich, motivating activities which are used for small amounts of time over an extended period to help children construct their own learning.
  • 110 activities on site, 75 for members.
  • Concept and skill development in a problem solving context to strengthen the toolbox of mathematicians in primary years.
  • Working Mathematically with Infants (see Resources below) combines Calculating Changes and whole class investigations into 60 weeks of programmed number learning from K - 2.

Maths300

  • Established 2000 as a partnership with Curriculum Corporation and continuing under Education Services Australia.
  • July 2015 to April 2017 refreshed, redeveloped and continued by its creators through The Task Centre Collective Pty. Ltd.
  • From April 2017 all elements of Maths300 passed to The Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (A.A.M.T.)
  • Built on the work of the Mathematics Curriculum & Teaching Program (MCTP) and a range of other historic initiatives.
  • Whole class investigations as lesson plans which model the work of a mathematician.
  • Each lesson presented in the context of best teaching practice.
  • Strong emphasis on multiple intelligences, higher order thinking and literacy.
  • Over 190 lessons, working towards 300, for teachers in Years K-12.
  • About one half of the lessons are built on the content depth of Mathematics Centre hands-on tasks.
  • About one third of the lessons are supported by purpose-built software.

Professional Development

  • Support for all levels of education - System, District, Cluster, School, Pre-Service Education - anywhere in the world.
  • A multitude of options categorised in two sections: Off-the-shelf or Tailored programs.
  • We specialise in Discussion Lessons - we take the class, teachers observe learning features, we discuss, teachers are challenged to teach the same lesson to a different group.
  • Our recommended model for lasting curriculum shift is focused courses with the same teacher group, structured over time and requiring classroom-based experimentation, reflection, evaluation and on-going challenge.
  • For an overview of options visit Professional Development Partnerships

Off-the-shelf Programs

PD from MC
  • A library of tried and proven one day workshops and two 6 day programs, one primary and one secondary.
  • One day programs can be presented individually or as a linked collection.
  • Designed to service remote as well as central locations.
  • Resources for each program are drawn from the projects above.
  • Each session provides time to explore, research and plan.
  • Teachers are invited to take their resource and re-enact its story in their classroom.
  • Programs can be delivered by our leaders or by professional officers from a system who have been prepared and resourced by us.
  • PD from MC programs have been the basis of partnerships with schools, clusters, professional associations and systems.
Task Centre Workshop
  • Only available with the purchase of the eTask Package.
  • Designed to support creating a Task Library and the integration of eTasks into the curriculum.
  • The eTask Package includes Leader's notes and slides for an in-house, DIY workshop.
  • Can be adapted to a cluster of schools with a similar purpose.
  • Can be delivered by our leaders or by professional officers from a system who have been prepared and resourced by us.
  • Can be delivered by our leaders in schools which already have their own set of tasks.
Calculating Changes Workshop
  • One day workshop to establish the principles and practice of Calculating Changes, including Working Mathematically with Infants.
  • Calculating Changes supports the development of a firmly founded, creative number sense through Infant years, then develops into a rich resource of ideas, activities and approaches for all primary teachers.
  • Poly Plug (see Resources below) and calculators are essential if the workshop learning is to be applied in the classroom afterwards.
Short Courses
  • 1 - 2 hour courses to highlight the main principles of each of the projects.
  • Variations for primary and secondary audiences.

Tailored Programs

Discussion Lessons
  • We take a class to act out a lesson.
  • Your teachers observe.
  • We meet before for a short time to brief, and after for about an hour to debrief.
  • You arrange for your teachers to enact this lesson with their own class and report back to each other.
Your Choice
  • You identify your needs.
  • We draw on our stories, experience and resources in discussion with you about addressing your needs.
  • We tailor a program together.

Research Evidence

Formal Research

  • We have research which shows that long term courses focussing on Learning to Work Like a Mathematician simultaneously improve problem solving ability, mathematical skills and literacy. See the INISSS research In the Research & Stories link at the top of the page.
  • We have research which shows that the achievement gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous secondary students can be closed.
    See the INISSS research in Research & Stories.
  • We have research which shows that secondary students from disadvantaged areas can do better at system level tests and Year 12 examinations.
    See Cressy District High School and Marsden State High School at the same link.
  • We have research which shows that parents can become integrated into the mathematics learning of gifted and talented Year 7 students through a home lending program based around tasks, and that this involvement has a high impact in terms of changing teaching and learning styles.
    See Thorne Grammar School at the same link.
  • We have research which shows that a high percentage of teachers involved in 5-10 courses with considerable input from Calculating Changes develop significant changes in their teaching style and report noticing unexpected developments in their children's number sense.
    See evaluations of Calculating Changes.

Teacher Stories

Resources

Digitally Delivered

  • eTasks
  • Maths With Attitude eManuals
  • Calculating Changes Membership (all primary years)
  • Working Mathematically with Infants
  • Picture Puzzles
  • Menu Maths
  • Professor Morris Puzzles
  • Maths At Home
  • Other documents

Hands-on / Printed

  • Poly Plug
  • Rotagrams
  • Maths300 ETuTE
Alternative assessment practices are built into all our materials.

We also recommend

  • Maths300 site membership (Primary & Secondary)

eTasks

A task is a problem written out on a card and packed with the materials students can use to explore the problem. Each task is a visual and concrete problem-solving context. You can see photos of all our tasks in our Task Library. Each photo is linked to its Task Cameo.
  • Key principles in selecting problems to become tasks are:
    • a task is the tip of an iceberg
    • a task has three lives: for pairs of students, a whole class or guided by an Investigation Sheet
    • a task can be used to illustrate the process of Working Mathematically
  • Build your own library of 241 tasks over time using our eTasks and your equipment.
  • Tasks include content from all curriculum strands and are appropriate to year levels from 2-10.
  • Infant teachers have told us they have successfully adapted many of these tasks. See Infant Tasks (PDF).
  • All tasks are supported by additional Task Cameo information for teachers
  • Order using our Order Form or your school purchase order or contact us.
Tip of an Iceberg
Keep in touch with additions and changes to all parts of our work by subscribing to Mathematics Centre eNews.

Maths With Attitude eManuals

  • Build your eTask collection into a core curriculum using Maths With Attitude eManuals.
  • MWA includes references to Maths300 lessons if available, making it even richer for Maths300 members.
  • Four eManuals at each pair of Year Levels: Years 3/4, Years 5/6, Years 7/8, Years 9/10
  • 16 eManuals which work together to support a Working Mathematically curriculum alternative across primary and secondary schools.
  • Excellent for resourcing cluster-wide curriculum shift.
  • Each eManual includes a week by week planner based on 20 tasks and a set of whole class investigations (enriched by Maths300 if available).
  • Each eManual contains several weeks work for each of the two year levels listed.
  • The 4 eManuals at each level are in the strands Chance & Measurement, Number & Computation, Pattern & Algebra, Space & Logic.
  • The set of 4 at each level provides 25 weeks of curriculum integrating hands-on problem solving, whole class investigations, skill development in context and software support.
  • Schools add up to an additional 15 weeks of teacher and faculty 'personal best' curriculum.
  • Self-directed professional development is supported by the manual and the lesson plans.
  • Additional professional development is available.
  • Convenient, compact and complete.
  • Maths300 membership offers added value but is not essential.
  • Integrates with Working Mathematically with Infants (see below) to build a core curriculum K - 10.
  • More details

Poly Plug

  • Poly Plug is a set of 2 soft foam boards each with 5 rows of 5 removable plugs.
  • One board is a sandwich of blue and yellow and the other board is red.
  • The yellow/blue board is double the thickness of the red board.
  • Each board is 17.5 cm square.
  • Each Poly Plug set is supplied with a tough press-seal plastic bag.
  • Highly recommended by teachers as 'classroom friendly'.
  • Poly Plug can be used to establish and solve an enormous number of mathematical problems suitable for all year levels.
  • A set of Poly Plug can be used to convert dozens of different tasks into whole class investigations.
  • Poly Plug is essential for making best use of Calculating Changes.
  • The Poly Plug link above details these ideas and encourages teachers to contribute more.

Calculating Changes Membership

  • Poly Plug and calculators are the preferred resources of the network.
  • Teachers have developed a teaching strategy they call Threading which challenges children and allows them time to construct their own learning.
  • Membership includes 70+ activities across all primary years and discount on Poly Plug purchase.
  • Membership is essential for Working Mathematically with Infants.
  • Explore the generous Free Tour section of Calculating Changes to discover principles and 30+ additional activities.

Working Mathematically with Infants

  • Only available to Calculating Changes members.
  • WMI Kit includes threaded activities from Calculating Changes and investigations from Mathematics Task Centre for Years K - 2.
  • Maths300 membership adds value but is not essential.
  • Six semesters each with 10 weeks of number work detailed in its own scope and sequence planner.
  • Each kit contains 25 Poly Plug and WMI Manual with weekly planners.
  • Integrates with Maths With Attitude to build a Working Mathematically core curriculum of 20 - 25 weeks at each level K - 10.
  • More details

Picture Puzzles

  • One screen, two learners, concrete materials and a challenge.
  • An alternative use for i-screens (phones, tablets, notebooks, computers) of any type.
  • PDF slide shows which present an unfolding sequence of challenges with multiple levels of success.
  • Each Picture Puzzle combines technology with visual and kinaesthetic learning and encourages mathematical conversation and recording.
  • Picture Puzzles are provided in content-related menus offering choice for students and teachers.
  • At least 5 choices in each menu.
  • More details

Menu Maths

Menu Maths is about choice.
  • Teachers choose which menu to use.
  • Learners choose which item to savour from Today's Specials.
Why? To enrich mathematics learning and teaching, encourage greater student participation and support the curriculum culture of learning to work like a mathematician.
  • At least five investigations on every menu.
  • Every investigation explored with Poly Plug.
  • Four menus available: Poly Plug Puzzles A, B, C, D.
  • Each menu focuses on a particular content strand.
  • Additional 'placemats' included when necessary as playing boards.
  • Menus suit a range of ages and abilities.
  • Web-based teachers' notes.

Professor Morris Puzzles

  • A resource to support the Poster Problem Clinic teaching strategy in Years 2 - 8.
  • Professor Morris is a CARtoon character who presents all his puzzles in rhyme.
  • 50 Puzzles presented as both Slides and Posters plus the booklet Introducing Professor Morris.
  • Booklet includes teaching notes for a Poster Problem Clinic, answers, start talking questions for digging deeper and links to the eTask collection.
  • More details

Rotagrams

  • A very useful device for comparing angles and developing a considerable amount of related mathematics.
  • A Rotagram is a clear plastic circle set into a clear plastic square.
  • No units are marked so the focus is on the concept of an angle and the way it is measured, rather than the skills related to using a protractor.
  • The circle can rotate against the square. One arm of an angle is marked (and fixed) on the square. The other is marked on the circle and consequently rotates.
  • Teacher and student print materials freely available.
  • More details

Maths At Home

  • Developed as a library of problem solving activities during Covid school closures and extended since.
  • Designed to support schools wanting to include more than machine-based learning in their school-at-home materials.
  • 70+ activities and investigations K - 10 adapted to home learning, with parent support as appropriate.
  • Set in the context of learning to work like a mathematician.
  • Includes the use of hands-on materials likely to be found in and around the home.
  • Each activity progressively releases control of learning to the learner.
  • Expects learners to keep a journal and to self-assess in each activity.
  • Post-Covid teachers have discovered that Maths At Home At School can be used:
    • As a self-directed project carried out at home, perhaps with a localised guidance sheet from the teacher.
    • As a self-directed project in school, individually or in small groups, to help the teacher differentiate learning in the classroom.
    • As the framework of a whole class investigation; in essence, a lesson plan created for the teacher.

Support Resources

Other Documents

Maths300 Membership

  • Membership must be purchased directly from: Maths300.
  • Membership is richer when used in conjunction with tasks.
    Maths300 supports modelling the work of a mathematician.
    Tasks offer an invitation to apply the model.

Maths300 ETuTE

  • A framework for in-house professional development based around Maths300.
  • Especially important for new members.
  • Stay in touch with your teaching craft as you explore Maths300 a little at a time.
  • Inspires you to trial a lesson you hadn't thought of using before.
  • Encourages and supports you to focus on learning to work like a mathematician, rather than just learning maths.
  • More details
And there's more ... please explore the Resources link.

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