MathsTalk by AMSI Schools
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.


Rerelease - Fluency in Mathematics (Nov. 2020)

Rerelease - Fluency in Mathematics (Nov. 2020)

May 7, 2021

With all the talk about NAPLAN, it seems like a great time to revisit the idea of fluency.

Mathstalk will be back with new episodes in 2 weeks.

Host Leanne McMahon is joined by AMSI Outreach Officer and MathsTalk Twitter chat host, Cass Lowry to discuss the idea of Mathematical Fluency. This conversation stems from a #MathsTalk Twitter chat on the same topic held on November 12th 2020 that led to spirited debate and some great ideas. Links and resources can be found  below and at

Conceptual Understanding Part 2

Conceptual Understanding Part 2

March 29, 2021

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:

Patterns Lesson: 

Supporting Australian Mathematics Project: 


Algebra tiles:


Rerelease: The Equals sign

Rerelease: The Equals sign

March 12, 2021

As a response to feedback on our recent Podcast, Conceptual Understanding, we have rereleased the podcast we referred to, "The Equals sign"

Host Claire Embregts grabs a cuppa with AMSI Schools Outreach Officer Leanne McMahon to talk about the importance of the equals sign in Mathematics. We chat about the common misconceptions behind the equals sign and what teachers can do to avoid or rectify these misconceptions. Much of our discussion centres around a presentation from Max Stephens at the MERGA conference in 2006, a paper from which can be found here.

Find more at

Conceptual Understanding: Primary to Secondary

Conceptual Understanding: Primary to Secondary

March 9, 2021

In our first 'live' podcast for 2021, host, Leanne McMahon talks to Mathematics Consultant Nadia Abdelal. They discuss 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 is the first in a 2-part series on conceptual understanding in Mathematics and next week we will continue our discussion with a dive into teaching algebra for conceptual understanding.

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: 

2021 Re-Release. Starting the Year. What Classrooms need.

2021 Re-Release. Starting the Year. What Classrooms need.

January 19, 2021

Due to popular demand we are re-releasing the episodes from 2020 that look at starting the year in Mathematics. We'll be back very soon with fresh, exciting episodes for the new year.

In the first Mathstalk series of the year, the team looks at starting the year in Mathematics. From setting up your classroom with resources, planning and delivering the best Maths lessons you can, to our favourite games, warmups and fun routines. In today's episode, host Marcus Garrett talks to Cass Lowry (primary) and Leanne McMahon (secondary) about what Maths Classrooms need. They discuss must-have manipulatives in both primary and secondary classrooms and also look at On-line resources and Text books.

Related Links:



December 22, 2020

In this Tea Break episode, host Claire Embregts is joined by AMSI Outreach Officer Anna Bock who shares some ideas and strategies that teachers can implement in the classroom to support their students with understanding the concept of Addition. We chat about some of the ideas that underpin Addition and the importance of providing practical situations with adding single digit numbers before moving to larger numbers. A range of links to resources are provided for teachers and parents.

Links and resources can be found below and at

For Teachers:'good_work'

For Parents:


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