Category Archives: maths word problems

When will we EVER learn?

Could it be that the apparent decline in educational standards in Literacy and Numeracy here in Australia is just a temporary aberration?

Could it that a few simple decisions — applied within just weeks — could bring about a genuine lift in student (and teacher) outcomes in these two vital curriculum areas?

And, could it be that significant improvement, not only in academic performance, but also in developing all-important positive attitudes to learning in primary schools, could come at NO additional financial cost? Just better stewardship of the funding that’s already there?

Could it be that today’s “Holy Educational Grail” — technology — is actually getting in the way of real, effective learning in real time?”

Well, the answers are “Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes”.


Students want it, teachers want it, Principals want it, parents want it, and the community would relish it!

So, let’s support curriculum innovation that makes the very BEST use of the skills, enthusiasm and commitment of today’s teachers, by providing them with curricula that actually allows time for the “Big C” — consolidation — to take place in the classroom.

Time to allow students to DIGEST what is being taught, to ponder it, to get a real feel for it — a “Vibe” — that will help them build on their present knowledge, and challenge them to strive to learn more! Or, as perhaps Telstra would say, to “Thrive On!”

Let’s encourage everyone to move from the known to the unknown, and by giving them the time and tools to help new learning “mature” in their minds.

Not difficult! Not expensive! Just SOUND pedagogical practice.


Who would have thought . . .?

Maths lessons tend to be quite predictable. Follow the curriculum set way back at the start of the school year. Relevant or not! Helpful or not. Boring, or not.

But then . . . along comes some real-life event that interests everyone — yes, EVERYONE!

And what do Maths lessons do? Well, nothing new, usually.


You see, each week we write and email out Maths resources DIRECTLY RELATED TO REAL-LIFE HAPPENINGS. And not just current affairs! Often they are about the latest movie releases for children, or the latest pop tunes, or the top-of-the-ratings TV shows, or sporting heroes, or the weather, or . . . whatever!

Things that interest EVERYONE. But with a worded Maths question attached. Fun. Stimulating. Positive Maths!

You’ll never know how helpful these resources could be in YOUR CLASSROOM unless you try them out — FREE — and share them with your teaching colleagues, and chat about them in the Staffroom.

All we can do is encourage you to take a look at these worded maths problems.

Tens of thousands of students Australia-wide are using them each and every school week.

Could they help YOU and YOUR CLASS?

Please consider

A teacher’s thoughts turn to . . .

Yes! This is the last week of the summer holidays. Enjoy!

But, at the back of every teacher’s mind is the approaching return to school for the new 2017 school year.

And, for primary teachers across Australia, we have just the thing to make those first few Maths lessons just that little bit easier to tackle.

And it costs NOTHING!

Just visit to request your FREE Maths worded worksheets for that all-important first week’s Maths lessons. They’re Aussie, fun to use, packed with current-affairs  interest for the students, and make ideal Homework Sheets as well.

Go on! Give them a go! That’s



Your MATHS lesson “silver bullet”? Maybe not, but pretty close!

One way to build a POSITIVE vibe in your Maths lessons, and it only costs $4. Try it out! Literally THOUSANDS of primary students around Australia are benefiting each and every week using this tremendous resource.

Practical Maths Leadership materials in primary schools are hard to come by.

And INNOVATIVE, CREATIVE Maths materials are even harder to find.

BUT . . . they exist, they’re written freshly each week, and they’ll add a real, GENUINE SPARK to the way in which the children in your class think about Maths, right now and into the future.

Give them a go! Just $4 and you’ll IMMEDIATELY receive this week’s Maths Pack via email.


Just $4 to discover “Maths Gold”!




Try these with your Year 3/4 class . . .

Hey! Try these with your next Year 3/4 Maths lesson. FUN Maths questions that actually MEAN something!

Q1.: Many “Pokemon Go” people were really upset when a Pokemon upgrade wiped out their 3-week scores. How many days’ records were lost for each player?

Q2.: The new Harry Potter book sold out within just a few minutes at a huge department store, and Mike got very angry. They had advertised the book at $15, reduced from $45. How much EXTRA did Mike have to pay later to buy the book at full price?

Q3. The Australian Census takes place on Tuesday night, August 9th. If there are 3 people who need to complete the form, and each person takes 28 minutes to fill in their section, how long does it take for the entire form to be completed?

Many more where these came from!

These questions were taken from this week’s FUN Maths Worksheets. For FREE 3-week trial for Years 3/4 or Years 5/6 visit Delivered tonight! Become your school’s MATHS HERO!


When will the needs of primary teachers go VIRAL?

PokemonSo . . . we’ve all seen the incredible impact of “Pokémon Go” in the past few weeks. It’s TRULY gone viral!

And we’re probably all familiar with that “Grumpy Cat” video on YouTube. Yep, another media success that’s gone viral.

And who can forget the image of that beautiful dog skateboarding at full speed, with full, precise control of his vehicle. Incredible. Viral!

So . . . why, on earth, isn’t that all-important “vehicle” that impacts so greatly on the students we teach — the curriculum — going viral?

Surely, it’s a motherhood statement, along with apple pie and cream. Surely we are all agreed that students should be given every chance to achieve success at whatever level of which they are capable.

Surely we should ALL be concerned when “the system” is actually PREVENTING students from, not only succeeding in learning up to their capacity, but also, preventing them from ENJOYING IT!

Two days ago, I purchased a book that set me thinking, yet again, along these lines. Titled “Beautiful Failures”, by author Lucy Clark, the back-cover blurb gives an genuine insight into the content. She begins, “I want to tell you a story about my daughter, my beautiful failure.”


And don’t we teachers know exactly what she’s talking about!?

I do!

Students sit before me who hate being at school, who couldn’t care less about what they’re supposed to be learning, whose minds are elsewhere (Pokémon, perhaps?), while I, the teacher, try in numerous ways to “win them over” to what we teachers are supposed to be doing — teach!

We need curricula to go VIRAL. Curricula that is interest-packed, relevant, worthwhile, practical in an age of technology that seems to add confusion and difficulty, when SIMPLICITY has a whole lot going for it.

Our own maths materials illustrate the point. Check out the graphic. Full of fun, full of interest. (You can trial this stuff totally free of cost or obligation by visiting our website at so you can get a sense of what WE are trying to do!)

But there are heaps of other truly worthwhile teaching resources available, many of them free, some of them costing but a little. But are teachers encouraged to use them? Are you?

So, let’s hope that curriculum will become the next VIRAL matter.

We can only hope!



Do all Maths problems need a single answer?

The answer, it seems, is “NO!”

In this brave new world of Maths education at primary (and secondary) levels, there’s an increasing emphasis on open-ended maths questions.

Questions that encourage mathematical thinking.

Questions that stimulate interest in things mathematical, without actually having a single solution.

Well, maybe not a SINGLE solution, but possibly MANY solutions.

With each solution demanding a considered approach: —02-can-do-this “How did you do this? Why did you do it that way? Does your answer make sense? Is there a better way to solve the problem?” And so on.

As usual, though, we need to be asking the question, “Does this approach suit ALL students? Or most of them? Or some of them? Or just a few of them?”

And another question. Is it reasonable to expect teachers to be personally equipped to handle the possibly multiple attempts, by multiple students, who may very well get multiple answers to the question being considered?

Teaching is a fantastic career, and with committed, highly-skilled teachers giving of themselves to those children in their charge, the demands are high.

Given the pressures on teachers, is the “open-ended question” approach a step too far, demanding as it does an enormous, some would say unreasonable, commitment of time and dedication to answer open-ended questions that, in many cases, demand quite sophisticated, considered solutions?

An example of an open-ended question for primary students:
“The perimeter of a rectangular swimming pool is 80 metres. What might the length and width of that swimming pool be?”

For OUR SOLUTION to this particular dilemma, feel free to visit our website at — and enjoy the multiple benefits of our particularly unique approach to Maths support for primary (and lower secondary) teachers.