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Learning to read and interpret road signs is an important part of helping your students to locate themselves in 3D space. Our resources include a wide range of road signs for class discussions with any age group. For example, here is an animal crossing sign. What does this sign mean? Why has it been put up on this road? What do you have to do? Will the animals come from the left, the right or straight ahead? Why do you think this? Where might you see a sign like this one? Do you only look out for cows and sheep? Why were these two animals selected for the sign?

If you know individual students are travelling along country roads, encourage them to take their own photographs of unusual road signs. Have they seen one about emus? Deer? Kangaroos? Koalas? Use these for related class discussions about the importance of road signs and the information they tell us.

The first of many NAPLAN 2017 follow-up activities to help your students remove blockages.  Only 48% of one large Year 3 cohort correctly matched a 2-digit addition and subtraction number story to the correct number sentence. The format of the question was slightly unusual and this seemed to have thrown the students off!!


Match my Story provides follow-up examples to discuss together with your Stage 1 students. It is also suitable for high and medium block Stage 2 students. Each set has more than one matching number sentence. It is vital to discuss both the ones that work and those that don’t. Help your students think more deeply about what they are learning.


This guide is a vital tool for all middle and upper primary students who want to be successful maths problem solvers. The book is divided into three sections.

  • Why Solve Problems? Explains which personal skills help you solve problems and what a problem solving cycle looks like.
  • Common Problem Solving Strategies The 8 suggested strategies are: Visualise it, Make a table or graph, Guess and check, Break it into smaller parts, Work backwards, Look for a pattern, Eliminate possibilities.
  • Types of Problems More than 140 sample problems include 1-step, 2-step, more than 2-step, multiple choice and open-ended problems.

The book includes detailed, suggested strategies, as well as TRY THIS and CHALLENGE activities to test your understanding. Answers are at the back of the book. It is suitable for students, teachers and parents working with Stage 2 or 3 students. This Guide is packed full of easy-to-understand explanations, real-life photographs and graphics. The book includes curriculum correlation charts. The book also showcases 7 outstanding male and female problem-solvers from across the world.

Click here to buy a copy directly from the publisher or to view sample pages.

Paper/rock/scissors is a game of chance between two people. On a signal you each make one of 3 shapes with your hand – rock (a closed fist), paper ( a flat hand) or scissors (a fist with two fingers making a V). The outcomes are that you make the same shape or a different shape. If the shapes are different then paper covers rock (paper wins), rock crushes scissors (rock wins) and scissors cut paper (scissors wins).

This game began in China and Japan and is a simple way to select who goes first, for example, in another game. It is like flipping a coin, throwing a die or drawing a straw from a pile. It is a selection method.

Here is  an official website that demonstrates the rules of this game.

Duffy has just created a sweet set of children to help you talk about Chance with your students. What’s the chance of having a boy or a girl? Twins? Triplets? Quadruplets?

Your chance for having a boy is about 50% and 50% for having a girl. But many of you will know families that are all boys or all girls. Having all boys or all girls is almost always due to simple chance. Scientists have actually researched this topic and find that boys are 52% more likely than girls, so you really have a very slight increased chance of having a boy.

Did you know that Nigerian women enjoy the highest rate of twin pregnancies in the world? About 1 in 22 Nigerian women have twins. In 2013 there were 4475 sets of twins born in Australia, out of a total of 298 984 births. This represented about 15 in 1000 births.  And of these 15 sets of twins, about 30% are identical. So fewer than 5 in 1000 births in Australia are identical twins.

In 2015, there were 84 sets of triplets born in Australia, out of a total of 305 377 births. That’s a 26 in 100 000 chance of having triplets. And there has been a 400 percent increase in the rate of triplet births over the last 20 years. To create identical triplets, the original fertilised egg splits and then one of the cells splits again. Identical triplets occur in about one in a million pregnancies, a rare event indeed.

Did you know that the odds of conceiving quadruplets is predicted to be one in 729 000? To create identical quadruplets, one fertilised egg needs to split into 4 separate embryos. Phew.


Regular practice estimating volumes will help your students develop effective proportional reasoning. We use this skill when we think about multiplication and division. We also use this skill when we think about fractions. I am working on a whole set of these activities but this is the first in the STAGE 1 set. It will help your students think about fifths. It will help them understand how to mentally divide a length into 5 equal parts. Later sets will focus on dividing a given volume into halves, thirds, quarters and tenths.

The theme of  FILL IT TO THE TOP (fifths) is orange juice. Even though you are just discussing a picture card, encourage your students to imagine it is a container of real orange juice. You want to share this juice equally between 5 people.

Develop a simple language routine to discuss the fraction parts. If this is one fifth, how many more fifths do you need to fill this container to the top? If this is two fifths, how many more fifths do you need to fill this container to the top? If this is three fifths, how many more fifths do you need to fill this container to the top? If this is four fifths, how many more fifths do you need to fill this container to the top?

Remember to talk about the full container as five fifths or one whole container full.

This activity is also part of our STAGE 1 Mental Warm-ups.

For some reason Volume and Capacity is one of the most difficult sub-strands in Primary Mathematics to both teach and learn. Too many Year 3 students are not able to answer Stage 1 questions in National or International Assessments.

  • Yes it is a language problem.
  • Yes it is a lack of whole class resources problem.
  • Yes it is a messy water problem.
  • Yes there may be more important strands or sub-strands to focus on.

But … that doesn’t mean we ignore Volume and Capacity. There are still important concepts for students to take with them into adult life. The ability to estimate amounts in a given container, to think about litres and millilitres, for example.

We have just uploaded How much water is that? for your Stage 2 students. It involves using real containers and water to establish the Volume concepts in real life. You then switch to 2D representations to help students internalise their experiences using the following 4 cards:

Your goal is for your students to use proportional reasoning to estimate how many cups of water they need to fill each container. It sounds simple, but only 52% of year 3 students in the Year 3 2016 NAPLAN Numeracy Paper were able to do this successfully.

This activity is also part of our STAGE 2 Mental Warm-ups.


Ikat textiles are amongst the most beautiful geometric patterns in the world. And they are so complicated to design and create that it is a wonder that they exist at all. I have just uploaded lots of textile photographs, including about 10 ikat ones. “Ikat” means “to tie” or “to bind”.

Ikat is a resist dyeing technique where you dye the warp yarn before you weave it. Different bundles are tightly bound then dipped in the dye. These might be unbound and then rebound in a different way before being dipped in a different colour dye. All the bindings are removed at the end of the dye process then the yarn is used to weave the cloth. The weft yarns are dyed in a solid colour. Once you set up the warp yarn you can see the pattern before you start the weft design weaving. Once woven of course some of the yarn is not in exactly the right position so you get a slightly blurred effect. Famous ikat textile villages can be found in Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Sumatra. The tribal groups are Dayak, Toraja and Batak.

You can also create weft ikats. This time the weft threads are bound and dyed but it is much more difficult to weave as the design only shows once it is actually woven!

And you can even get double ikats. These textiles are created by first binding and dyeing patterns into both the warp and the weft yarn. Utterly astounding! Very few places still create these complex patterns. You can see them in Tengenan in Bali and Puttapaka and Bhoodan Villages in India.

You can find ikats also in Central and South America, Central Asia and Japan. In the 19th century, Bukhara and Samarkand in Uzbekistan were famous centres for silk ikats.

What a delicious way to think about adding or subtracting, multiplying or dividing money with 2-place decimals. Here are 4 shots from the beautiful Hopetoun Tearooms in Melbourne.

My favourites were the raspberry tarts! If they cost $6.75 each, how much for 10? What change would you get from $100? If you bought two tarts and shared them between 4 people, how much would each person pay? If you want to buy the raspberry tarts for a party and give everyone half a tart each, how many will you need to buy if you expect 10 people at your party? How much will this cost? How much change from $50? From $100?

I am sure you and your class will be able to create many more money stories like these ones. Perhaps you could even think about how you might  cook some tarts together, just like these ones?