"What is mathematics? It is only a systematic effort of solving puzzles posed by nature." — Shakuntala Devi


Our Philosophy

At Araluen PS, our philosophy toward teaching numeracy follows a hands-on, problem based approach and demands active participation from the students well as high expectations. In line with Hattie's research, concepts are first explicitly taught with an emphasis on mastering the four operations to solve more complex mathematical problems. There are nine top strategies we are implementing across the classrooms under the guidance of our resident Mathematics Specialists: Mr Anglim and Mrs Stone.



Classroom Program

Students follow a regular classroom program with a minimum of 5 hours of maths instruction a week to practise and apply their learning to equip them with the numeracy tools necessary for their future studies.


Strategies for Problem Solving and hands-on Leanring at Araluen


Strategy 1: Create Experience.

What we know is a product of our experience. Some students have    preliminary experiences at home, others do not. So we are seeking to include practical experience that is preliminary to an intellectual experience to help give all students access.


Strategy 2: Pose tasks with a low floor, high ceiling.

All students will be able to give at least one possible (correct) response. While others might give many (perhaps also seeing, unprompted, patterns and abstractions). This way all students can feel a part of the community and that they are progressing.


Strategy 3: Enabling and extending prompts.

Enabling prompts involve slightly varying an aspect of the task demand, so that a student experiencing difficulty, can still achieve and share success, and then if successful, can proceed with the original task with confidence! This also pushes those finding a task too easy to find more challenging ways to complete a task.


Strategy 4: Pose consolidating tasks.

Students struggle with the first task, listen to strategies for solving, then move to a similar task on which those new strategies can be applied. There is no expectation that all students can do the first one(s), but more can do the subsequent one(s). This allows for normalization of failure and shows students how to problem solve.


Strategy 5: Inclusive fluency experiences.

Too often, fluency games and activities have the effect of helping the students that are already fluent. Inclusive experiences engage all students in multiple calculations in a short time. There are advantages in group and class chorusing (even if some are only listening). It helps if the fluency practise connects with the lesson and the lesson helps to reinforce the particular skill.


Strategy 6: Getting started.

One effect of posing challenges is that some students seem reluctant to get started. This strategy for engaging such reluctant starters is to propose routines that help them get started.


Strategy 7: “Realistic” group investigations.

Realistic investigations that are multi-faceted, take time and are meaningful for collaborative group work can include all students (even if the experience of the individuals is different). Especially if the experience involves roles, students help and learn from each other.


Strategy 8: Using a text book/worksheet in different ways.

It’s ok to use a book sometimes! But only if we take the problems from the page and put them into real life context!


Strategy 9: Games that are a mix of skill and luck.

Games are fun, but if purely skill then some children will lose interest quickly because they feel they ‘can’t do it’ and if purely luck then there is less interest in searching for meaning. We want games to be meaningful to our learners.