Numeracy – Effective Numeracy Blocks

Self expression & acting


The majority of mathematics learning experiences at WLPS adhere to an ‘effective lesson structure’, which reflects The Gradual Release of Responsibility model and explicit teaching. The lesson structure includes:


  • Explicitly stated learning intentions and success criteria
  • Introduction of technical mathematical language and use of a word wall
  • Linking to prior knowledge
  • Worked examples
  • Guided practice
  • Targeted questioning, feedback and error-training


  • Differentiated
  • May be independent or collaborative
  • May be rotational
  • Instructive feedback throughout


  • Revisit learning intentions
  • Seeking of feedback from students – formative assessment
  • Short activity (often collaborative) to summarise, consolidate and potentially extend

Teachers use three key resources when planning numeracy lessons: iMaths, Mathspace and First Steps.

iMaths is an investigation-based program, where skills are explicitly taught and practised, and then applied to relevant, real-life investigations. Problem-solving strategies are also explicitly taught and used during the investigations, encouraging the use of higher-order thinking. The program provides plenty of opportunities for differentiation, to cater for the diverse learning needs of students.

Maths Space is an Australian curriculum aligned digital maths program.

Mathspace uses an adaptive learning model, enabling each student to get the most out of the software.

Teachers from Years 3-6 use Mathspace to supplement and reinforce the teaching they deliver to their classes, enabling further differentiation in the activities presented to WLPS students.

First Steps Numeracy is a resource that was created by a team from the Department of Education WA and tertiary consultants at Murdoch University. Although its development coincided with the introduction of the Curriculum Framework, it is still regarded as ‘best practice’; even now that we teach to the Western Australian Curriculum.

The program assists teachers to: build their own knowledge of the mathematics ‘behind’ the curriculum; understand how students learn mathematics; and, plan effective learning experiences for all students. First Steps Numeracy is organised into ‘key understandings’ which students need to understand. The key understandings are:

  • Describe the ideas or concepts that students need to learn
  • Suggest learning experiences to help students to learn the concepts
  • Provide a basis for recognising and assessing what students already know and still need to know
  • Point out any common misconceptions

The program includes diagnostic tasks (formative assessment) for each key understanding, and diagnostic maps which describe the characteristic phases in the development of students’ thinking about mathematical concepts.