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Russo, James – Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 2017

Benchmarking is an important strategy for comparing the size of fractions. In addition, knowing whether a given fraction is greater or less than a particular benchmark (e.g., one-half) can support students with accurately locating the fraction on a number line. This article offers a game-based activity that engages students in discussions around…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Benchmarking, Comparative Analysis, Fractions

Russo, James – Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 2017

James Russo begins a discussion of the difficulty and time-consuming activity of Googling to find lesson plans and resources to keep his lessons more interesting and engaging, since such resources seem particularly scarce for math teachers. Russo writes that joining professional associations has given him ready access to higher quality resources…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Lesson Plans, Planning, Educational Quality

Russo, James; Hopkins, Sarah – Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 2017

This paper outlines a seven-step process for developing problem-solving tasks informed by cognitive load theory. Through an example of a task developed for Year 2 students, we show how this approach can be used to produce challenging mathematical tasks that aim to optimise cognitive load for each student.

Descriptors: Mathematics Activities, Cognitive Processes, Difficulty Level, Curriculum Design

Russo, James – Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 2017

Using a game-based context and concentrating explicitly on language, students in the early years are able to make sense about place value amid the vagaries of the English language in naming numbers. This conceptual approach to understanding place value allows students to further develop number strategies beyond counting by ones.

Descriptors: Educational Games, Teaching Methods, Mathematical Concepts, Numbers

Sullivan, Peter; Russo, James – Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 2017

It is frequently surprising to new teachers (and even those with experience) when they find that not only do some children need to recount the group they have just counted to be assured of the total but also that this need seems to be resistant to intervention. Although moving from "counting-all" to "count-on" is sometimes…

Descriptors: Number Concepts, Computation, Teaching Methods, Mathematics Instruction

Russo, James – Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 2016

This article describes activities in which students deepen their relational understanding of the equals sign through exploring inequalities in a competitive dice game, built around the familiar fairy-tale "The Three Little Pigs" and "The Big Bad Wolf." The activity can be adapted to different abilities by choosing more or less…

Descriptors: Picture Books, Teaching Methods, Class Activities, Mathematics Education

Russo, James – Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 2016

The use of enabling and extending prompts allows tasks to be both accessible and challenging within a classroom. This article provides an example of how to use enabling and extending prompts effectively when employing a challenging task in Year 2.

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Elementary School Mathematics, Teaching Methods, Mathematical Concepts

Russo, James – Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 2016

The Smarties-Box Challenge encourages students to apply several different mathematical capabilities and concepts--such as, estimation, multiplication, and the notion of being systematic--to solve a complex, multistep problem. To effectively engage in the Smarties-Box Challenge, students are required to demonstrate aspects of all four proficiency…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematics, Mathematical Concepts, Mathematics Instruction

Russo, James – Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 2015

In this article James Russo presents the Strategies, Understanding, Reading and Fast Facts Framework (SURF) for mental computation. He explains how this framework can be used to deepen mathematical understanding and build mental flexibility.

Descriptors: Mental Computation, Teaching Methods, Educational Strategies, Mathematics Achievement