MathsTalk by AMSI Schools
Learning to Learn Mathematics

Learning to Learn Mathematics

September 12, 2022

This is the first in a two part series, directed at all who teach and learn Mathematics. Host, Helen Booth talks with respected educator Vicky Kennard about the science of learning maths and how this can be put into practice by both teachers and students. They delve into study methods, learning theories, growth mindset and a plethora of other aspects of Maths learning.  This will be a great episode to listen to before next week's podcast that will be directed at senior students and how they can best use the last couple of months before exams.


ICE-EM Textbooks:

Neuroscience and education:


Pomodoro Method:


Ready Set Upskill - The importance of understanding data

Ready Set Upskill - The importance of understanding data

August 2, 2022

Host, Leanne McMahon welcomes Marcus Garrett, former MathsTalk host and current Learning Solutions Designer at RMIT Online to discuss the idea that digital mindsets which are underpinned by mathematics, are the key to unlocking opportunities for young people in the jobs market, opportunities in life and also opportunities for the Australian economy.

Deloitte Access Economics and RMIT Online concluded in a report that one of the biggest emerging skill needs for the Australian economy remains digital skills, meaning the data and data interpretation skills that give people the confidence and the capacity to use digital technologies to make sound data-driven decisions when faced with complex problems. We look at how teachers can facilitate the development of these skills throughout school and how the RMIT Online team enable teachers and other professionals to build their data interpretation skills and maybe even increase their income in the process.


ICE-EM textbooks:

RMIT Online:

Ready, set, upskill: Effective training for the jobs of tomorrow: 

Contact us: 

Conceptual Understanding Part 2 (rerelease from March 2021)

Conceptual Understanding Part 2 (rerelease from March 2021)

July 13, 2022

Popular demand sees us re-releasing part 2 of our conceptual understanding podcast, one of the most downloaded of all of our episodes. In it, Nadia and Leanne continue their discussion about teaching mathematics for conceptual understanding. Today they delve into how Patterns and Algebra can be taught conceptually and then they get practical; discussing the thought process that goes into planning units.

For suggestions comments and ideas, please contact us at @AMSISchools on Twitter or

Resources from the podcast:

Nadia's website (EM Maths):

Patterns Lesson: 

Supporting Australian Mathematics Project: 


Algebra tiles:


Rerelease - Conceptual Understanding Part 1

Rerelease - Conceptual Understanding Part 1

June 28, 2022

By popular demand, we bring you Maths consultant Nadia Abdelal, talking in 2021 about the importance of teaching for conceptual understanding, and why it needs to be extended into secondary classes. This is a must-listen for primary and secondary teachers alike and will hopefully stimulate some real discussion in staffrooms across Australia and the world. It was the first in a 2-part series on conceptual understanding in Mathematics and you can continue our discussion with a dive into teaching algebra for conceptual understanding by going to the episode from March 2021, clicking here or waiting until next week, when we will rerelease it.

Contact us at 

Nadia’s website:

An NCTM article about teaching Maths for conceptual understanding:

Marcus discusses the importance of Context in Mathematics:

Jo Boaler highlights that learning number facts is not all about procedure, and in fact a conceptual approach is more effective:

Creating Success for ALL students

Creating Success for ALL students

June 2, 2022

Host Leanne McMahon sits down to talk with Kerryn Sandford, a mathematics educator and principal of a secondary school in Melbourne, about her thoughts on how we can ensure our students achieve success in mathematics.

This episode sponsored by AMSI's own ICE-EM textbook range: 

We cover all manner of topics that she mentions in her article in the latest edition of MAV's "Common Denominator" which can be accessed here:

Other topics covered are:

Out of Field Maths teachers: Also keep an eye out for the Report from the National Summit on Teaching Out-of-field: Synthesis and Recommendations for Policy, Practice and Research. Due end of June 2022.

Year 12 mathematics participation report: 

Explicit Instruction:

Twitter: @AMSIschools

Contact us: 


The Problem with Maths (and some digital ideas to fix it)

The Problem with Maths (and some digital ideas to fix it)

February 4, 2022

Happy New year and welcome to 2022!

In our first episode for the year, host Leanne McMahon talks to educator and digital guru Greg O'Connor from Texthelp. Greg poses some of the problems he sees in how our students are learning maths and suggests some solutions for overcoming these issues. Contact us at or 


Contact Greg:


Twitter @gregoconnor




EquatIO - Free for Teachers

EquatIO For Schools/Universities - contact

Other resources:

Early math skills predict later academic success

Australia’s Chief Scientist 2020 Australia's STEM Workforce Report

A couple of posts by Greg:

Literacy the real barrier to STEM uptake

Can educational technologies help to reverse Australia’s maths slump?

How should schools tackle the maths slump?

Research has shown that mathematics textbooks contain more concepts per sentence and paragraph than any other type of text.

Joan M. Kenney (2005) Literacy Strategies for Improving Mathematics Instruction, ASCD, 2005

STEM texts are often written above the grade level for which they are intended

Barton, M. L., Heidema, C., & Jordan, D. (2002). Teaching Reading in Mathematics and Science. Educational leadership, 60(3), 24-28. PDF

Does reading *really* matter in mathematics?

Readability with Rewordify

Tutoring in Mathematics

Tutoring in Mathematics

November 8, 2021

Host Leanne McMahon talks all things tutoring with a 'maths education novice.' We discuss the options available for tutoring from a parental perspective and then look at how teachers (and parents) can use the Tutor learning initiative in Victorian schools (and also available in other states) As a spoiler, we came to a conclusion that private tutoring should probably be sought out as an option only if the student is prepared to take an active part in their classes and seek help from their teacher or school-based programs. We discuss the difficulty that parents have in finding a good tutor and make some suggestions. (another spoiler: It's difficult and expensive in an unregulated industry.)

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Tutor Learning Initiative resources:

Determining the impact of TLI :

Assessment for common misunderstandings:

English research into the use of teaching assistants in the classroom: *Note that this deals with teaching assistants - not trained teachers. In fact it highlights the need for trained teachers and reinforces the value of the TLI

Changes to the Australian Curriculum - Maths

Changes to the Australian Curriculum - Maths

August 23, 2021

MathsTalk returns with a two-part podcast featuring host, Leanne McMahon talking to maths leader and classroom teacher Cass Lowry about the proposed changes to the Australian Curriculum. In today's teabreak, we discuss the rationale behind the changes and the 'core concept organisers.' As usual, the discussions centre around our classroom and consultancy experience and we certainly welcome your input and insights.

The ACARA Maths Curriculum review documentation:

AMSI's response to the draft Curriculum:

Open letter to ACARA organised by Greg Ashman (signatories included) 

Twitter: @AMSISchools

Facebook: @amsischools

CRA Model (discussed in Multiplication Matters podcast):

Number Sense Podcast:


Interventions in Maths

Interventions in Maths

July 28, 2021

Host Leanne McMahon and guest Cass Lowry talk about one of the most asked questions on Maths Education Social Media, "What intervention program is best?" We discuss the value of intervention in general and look at a couple of specific examples that we have used.


English Research into the best use of Teaching assistants:

PISA and TIMMS Data: 

Parent Information:

18 x 5 video:

Number Sense Podcast:


ReRelease Multiplication Matters Part 1

ReRelease Multiplication Matters Part 1

July 19, 2021

The release of the draft of the new Australian Curriculum in Mathematics has caused quite a stir. While this will be discussed in our next episode, we thought it timely to rerelease one of our most popular podcasts (edited for a quicker listen). It looks at why 'learning your tables' is not enough and how teachers can become more familiar with multiplicative thinking.

Host Marcus Garrett and AMSI Schools Outreach Officer Leanne McMahon discuss the difference between ‘knowing multiplication facts’ and ‘multiplicative thinking’. They chat about the developmental sequence of multiplication-related concepts from the early years through to the middle years in the Australian maths curriculum.


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