||Our work is 100% professional development:
Across the nation
Around the world
This page is a summary of our philosophy, background, services and resources.
To collect and retell stories of success to support the concept that:
All students can learn to work like a mathematician
in happy, healthy, cheerful, productive, inspiring classrooms.
A curriculum which balances:
- modelling how to work like a mathematician
- Working Mathematically
- inviting students to apply the model for themselves
- developing a toolbox of mathematical skills
The starting point for a professional mathematician is an:
interesting, meaningful, worthwhile problem
Mathematics Task Centre
Tasks & Task Kits
Maths With Attitude
Calculating Changes Membership
Working Mathematically with Infants
Menu Maths Packs
Support Documents & Resources
Costs of all services and resources can be found in our Price List. (PDF file)
- Our stories are collected and retold through:
Mathematics Task Centre ... Calculating Changes Network ... Maths300.
- Each project has its own focus but operates as a companion to the others.
- The practical, hands-on nature of each is intended to encourage debate about best teaching practice.
- Teachers are invited to enter deeper into the debate by trying ideas and resources in their classroom.
- Services and resources are designed to 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.
- Built on the experiences of the Task Centre Network from 1976.
- 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 over 240 hands-on problem solving tasks for Years 2-10.
- Classroom wisdom related to using tasks in structured, integrated ways.
- Each task is an invitation to work like a mathematician.
- Many tasks have been adapted for infant or senior years.
- 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.
- By engineering 'aha' moments in number the network aims to enhance children's number sense beyond what is normally expected for their age.
- Concept and skill development in a problem solving context to strengthen the toolbox of mathematicians in primary years.
- Established 2000 as a partnership with Curriculum Corporation and continuing under Education Services Australia.
- Built on the work of the Mathematics Curriculum & Teaching Program (MCTP) and a range of other 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, literacy.
- Over 175 lessons, working towards 300, for teachers in Years K-12.
- About one half of the lessons are built on the content depth of hands-on tasks.
- About one third of the lessons are supported by purpose-built software.
- 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 focussed 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
PD from MC
Task Centre Workshop
- 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.
Calculating Changes Workshop
- Only available with the purchase of 100 tasks.
- Discounted consultant's fee.
- Designed to support the integration of the tasks into the curriculum.
- 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.
- 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 and calculators essential.
- 1½ - 2 hour courses to highlight the main principles of each of the projects.
- Variations for primary and secondary audiences.
- 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.
- 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.
- We have research which shows that long term courses focussing on the Working Mathematically approach to curriculum 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 the Research & Stories link at the top of the page.
- 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 in the Research & Stories link at the top of the page.
- 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 in the Research & Stories link at the top of the page.
- 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.
- This research evidence is also supported by teacher stories in the Research & Stories link above.
- Further, a group of teachers involved in Working Mathematically professional development for up to 4 years offers reasons why tasks work.
Our key resources are:
We also recommend
- Poly Plug
- Calculating Changes site membership (Primary)
These can be purchased separately, in collections, or in kits designed for particular purposes. We also offer a significant number of specialised resources to support whole class investigations.
- Maths300 site membership (Primary & Secondary)
- We have experience in constructing special kits to resource system-based initiatives.
- Alternative assessment practices are built into all our materials.
- For a full list of all our materials visit the Resources link above.
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.
- 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
- We have a collection of over 240 tasks involving content from all curriculum strands and appropriate to all year levels from 2-10.
- Infant teachers have told us they have successfully adapted many of these tasks. See Resources link above.
- More than half of all tasks are supported by additional Task Cameo information for teachers and new cameos are added monthly. Keep in touch with these additions and other additions and changes by subscribing to Mathematics Centre eNews.
- Ordering is as simple as stating the number of tasks required and the year levels at which they will be used. You may also include special criteria.
Working Mathematically with Infants
Calculating Changes Membership
- Only available to Calculating Changes members.
- WMI Kit includes threaded activities from Calculating Changes and investigations from Task Centre and Maths300 for Years K - 2.
- 10 weeks of number work detailed in 6 scope and sequence planners - one per semester.
- Each kit contains 20 Poly Plug, CD-ROM of activities extracted from Calculating Changes, manual with weekly planners.
- Maths300 membership offers added value but is not essential.
- Integrates with Maths With Attitude.
Maths With Attitude
- 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.
- Explore the generous Free Tour section of Calculating Changes to discover principles and sample activities.
- Membership includes over 60 additional activities for primary years.
- Membership is essential for Working Mathematically with Infants.
Points of View ... a Mixed Media unit
- Four kits at each pair of Year Levels: Years 3/4, Years 5/6, Years 7/8, Years 9/10
- 16 kits which work together to support a Working Mathematically curriculum alternative across primary and secondary schools.
- Excellent for resourcing cluster-wide curriculum shift.
- Each kit contains 20 tasks, a CD-ROM of lessons extracted from Maths300 and a manual with a week by week planner integrating its use through the two year levels of the kit.
- The 4 kits at each level are in the strands Chance & Measurement, Number & Computation, Pattern & Algebra, Space & Logic.
- The set of 4 kits at each level provides 25 weeks of curriculum integrating hands-on problem solving, whole class investigations, skill development in context and software support.
- Encourages 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. Some schools select the Working Mathematically Curriculum Pack (above) to obtain professional development and MWA kits as a discounted package.
- Convenient, compact and complete.
- Maths300 membership essential as a licence to use the CD-ROM.
- One model to integrate the use of tasks and whole class lessons.
- A Mixed Media Unit is built around 10 tasks, software and Investigation Sheets (or textbook) in a work station arrangement.
- Points of View is available as an example. This unit focuses on 2D representation of 3D objects.
Menu Maths Packs
Menu Maths is about choice.
Why? To enrich mathematics learning and teaching, encourage greater student participation and support the curriculum culture of learning to work like a mathematician.
- Teachers choose which menu to use.
- Learners choose which item to savour from Today's Specials.
- 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.
- 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.
- A free web site details all these ideas and encourages teachers to contribute more.
- Membership must be purchased directly from: http://www.maths300.esa.edu.au
- 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.
And there's more ... please explore the Resources link.
- Enough shapes for a whole class investigation of the Sphinx task.
- The one task offers significant learning for all year levels from K-12 and is used as an example of the depth of all the tasks.
- This problem is the source of the story of the Task Centre logo.
- The Iceberg Information about this task is collected at its own web site.
- Trisquares offer possibilities similar to Sphinx using a square as the core unit, rather than an equilateral triangle: Shape discrimination and other spatial experiences, perimeter, area, problem solving, square numbers, algebra.
- Enough shapes for a whole class investigation guided by Tasks 237, Trisquares, and Task 238, Growing Trisquares.
- Material for a whole class investigation involving perimeter, surface area, volume, 2D representation of 3D objects, linear, quadratic and cubic relationships.
- Everything done with Sphinx in two dimensions can be recreated and extended in three dimensions.
- A challenging three dimensional puzzle for any age.
- Class set of puzzles particularly useful in middle and senior secondary school to develop spatial perception, explore a wealth of pattern and algebra relationships, investigate the history of mathematics and understand proof by induction.
- See Pyramid Puzzle Task Cameo and Lesson 138 on Maths300.
- Two types of foam triangles obtained by cutting a regular pentagon.
- Content related to geometry and visual pattern, number patterns, Square Numbers, Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Ratio.
- See Pentagon Triangles Task Cameo and Lesson 134 on Maths300.
- Linking 2D shapes - squares, triangles, pentagons and hexagons - which fold up into three dimensions.
- Source of an immense amount of 2D and 3D spatial problem solving and pattern work.
- See Cube Nets Task Cameo and Lesson 116 on Maths300.