Place Value Fun

We are currently studying place value in maths.

Place value is defined as the value of a digit based on its position in a number.

For example: in the number 946 the 4 is in the “tens” position so it shows a value of 40. The 9 is in the “hundreds” position so it shows a value of 900.

Students have been developing their place value skills using four, five, six and seven digit numbers.


Numbers can be represented in different ways. Consider the five digit number in the place value chart below.

Five digit number

Standard form: 28,362

Word form: Twenty eight thousand, three hundred and sixty two

Expanded form: 20,000 + 8,000 + 300 + 60 + 2

We can also rename numbers in different ways. The number above can be renamed in a variety of ways including:

28 thousands, 36 tens and 2 ones

283 hundreds and 62 ones

2836 tens and 2 ones

28 thousands and 362 ones


Base 10 materials (sometimes referred to as MAB) are a very useful resource to model numbers.

Students have been building their knowledge by participating in a range of individual, partner, small group and whole class tasks. One highlight has been the Base 10 Race!

Students worked in collaborative groups on the basketball court. Each team rolled dice repeatedly and had to collect the required amount of Base 10 materials after each roll. They had to “trade” the materials when necessary. For example, when they had 10 ones, they exchanged for 1 ten. Or when they had 10 tens, they exchanged for 100. Teams kept a record of their number. It was a fun way to develop place value knowledge!


How has your place value knowledge improved?

What place value activity have you enjoyed?

If you were designing a place value game, what would it be?

What is your favourite maths topic?

Maths in 4B

We do maths every day in our classroom.

The structure of our maths lessons is:

1. A warm up activity – A short, fun game or task to get our minds ready for maths.

2. Tuning in – We discuss the concept we are learning about. We always have a learning focus and success criteria. This helps us to understand what we need to achieve in the lesson. We regularly discuss maths vocabulary, use the interactive whiteboard and view a demonstration of the main task during our tuning in.

3. Main activity – We focus on the specific maths concept by participating in an interactive game with a partner, using hands-on resources to work on different strategies, completing an open-ended problem solving task or doing independent practice.

4. Reflection – We share the mathematical strategies used to complete the main activity. We often discuss how this maths concept can apply to real life and why it is important to learn. We come back to the learning focus and success criteria to determine how we went and whether we achieved the learning goals for the lesson.


For one of our maths sessions this week, we were lucky to have our school maths coach, Mrs Hillbrick, participate. Here’s how our lesson went…

Warm up – We started our maths session with the warm up game, Hit The Target. We played in pairs with a deck of cards. We chose what the target number would be. Then we each turned over four cards from the deck and tried to make the target number by using some or all of the numbers on the cards with any of the four processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). It’s a great way to practise our number skills!

Tuning in – The mathematical skills and knowledge we covered in this lesson was part of our Patterns and Algebra unit. We discussed the learning focus and success criteria with Mrs Hillbrick.

Our learning focus was:

We are learning to create a pattern.

Our success criteria was:

We can:

  • Investigate a rule
  • Test a pattern
  • Identify and test a rule
  • Strategise.


We then investigated a number pattern, made by Mrs Hillbrick on milk bottle tops, to determine the rule that was used to create the pattern.


These were the numbers in the pattern:

2    5    11    23    47    95    191    383    767

We had to work out the rule that was used to create that pattern.

Most of us could identify that the rule was “x 2 + 1“. This was correct!

However, Sarah identified another way that the pattern could be created! We tested her rule and she was also correct! Can you work it out? It provided a great discussion and it demonstrated to everyone, including Miss Jordan and Mrs Hillbrick, just how interesting number patterns are!

Main activity – Mrs Hillbrick provided us with different rules on a folded kinder square.


We then had to create a number pattern using the rule we each received. The rule was folded down so no one could see it!

We then swapped our work with a partner. Our job was to investigate the pattern and identify the rule that was used to create that pattern.

Reflection – We discussed the strategies that we used to create a pattern and test a rule. There were many different strategies adopted! To determine which strategy was deemed the most effective during this task, students had to “hot spot” their preferred method of working. Using multiplication and division facts was the most popular strategy used.


We determined that we had been successful in this lesson because we achieved our success criteria. By the end of the session, we had investigated a rule, tested a pattern, identified the rule and tested our partner’s pattern and used a variety of mathematical strategies in the process!


Thanks to Mrs Hillbrick for helping us with this great maths task!

We love being mathematicians!


What did you enjoy about this lesson?

What mathematical strategies did you use?

Can you create a number pattern with a secret rule for others to solve?

What is your favourite maths topic?

Mapping In Maths

Last week, our maths lessons were dedicated to extending our mapping skills.

We focussed on three major aspects of mapping:

* Legends Maps give information by using symbols.  Symbols can be figures, shapes, lines, and colors that show where places and things are on a map.  A map’s legend tells you what the symbols mean.

* Scale – Map scale refers to the relationship (or ratio) between distance on a map and the corresponding distance on the ground. It also refers to the sizes of the various locations on the map.

* Compass directionA compass tells us which way on a map is north, east, south and west.

Students completed three mapping tasks during the week, which gradually increased in scale and level of difficulty:

* House map – Students visualised their house and created a map to represent a floor plan of their home.


* School map – Students created a map of the school, including as many different rooms and spaces that they could. This proved to be a challenging task! Below is the official map of our school.

School Map

* Barwon Heads map – In pairs, students selected a section of Barwon Heads and created a map, including streets, houses, buildings recreational facilities and environmental features.


Below are some photos of the students working on their Barwon Heads maps. They used Google Maps on their iPads to locate their area, identify the surrounding streets and determine the scale of their region.


 When do you use maps?

How did last week’s maths lessons challenge you?

Marvellous Measurement

We are currently learning about measurement in maths.

We have been focussing on:

  • Measuring accurately
  • Estimating
  • Comparing lengths
  • Deciding the appropriate unit of measurement to use
  • Converting units of measurement
  • Understanding perimeter and area
  • Calculating the perimeter and area of regular and irregular shapes
  • Identifying when you might need to know the perimeter or area of something
  • Using efficient addition skills to calculate perimeter
  • Using multiplication to calculate area.


Students have been participating in a variety of collaborative, open ended, hands-on tasks over the past week.

Super Snakes:

In groups of four, students researched the lengths of a variety of snakes. Using measuring tapes, rulers, newspaper and tape, students created their own snakes with exact measurements. Students had to label each snake with the correct measurement and covert the unit of measurement using millimetres, centimetres and metres.

Playing with Perimeter:

In groups of three, students designed and created a shape (either regular or irregular) using masking tape on their tables. They had to calculate the perimeter of their shape by adding together the lengths of all sides. Students then travelled around the classroom measuring and working out the perimeter of their peers’ masking tape shapes.

Fantastic Feet:

Students estimated the perimeter and area of their right foot, and then investigated the actual measurements. To do this, they traced their foot onto 1cm grid paper. To calculate the perimeter, students used ribbon to go around their traced foot and they then measured their ribbon with a ruler or measuring tape. To calculate the area, students worked out how many 1cm squares were on the surface of their foot. It was interesting to see how the estimations and actual measurements compared!


How has your measurement knowledge improved?

When might you use your new measurement skills in real life?

Can you measure something (either the length, perimeter or area) and record it in your comment?

Mathematical Word Problems

This week in maths, we have been working on solving and creating mathematical word problems.

We have focussed on addition and subtraction for our word problems and will extend our knowledge to multiplication and division word problems soon. We solve mathematical problems in real life all the time, so it is important we keep developing our skills in this area of maths.

We discussed the important steps required to successfully solve a word problem. They are:

  • Read the word problem carefully
  • Highlight the key words
  • Eliminate unnecessary information
  • Identify what the problem is asking you to work out
  • Decide what process/processes you need to use to solve the problem (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)
  • Solve the problem
  • Double check your answer.

We solved a variety of single-step and multi-step word problems as a class and individually, and it was essential that all mathematical processes were recorded in our maths books.

Then it was time to create our own addition and subtraction word problems! You can read a selection of them in the slideshow below.


What did you think of our word problems?

When have you had to solve a mathematical word problem in real life?

Can you write an addition or subtraction word problem in your comment?

Learning About Time

We have been learning about time in our recent maths lessons.


Our learning focussed on:

  • Identifying times on analogue and digital clocks
  • Recognising times that are important to us
  • Using 12 hour and 24 hour time
  • Reading timetables
  • Calculating elapsed time.

One of our tasks involved students planning their perfect day. They had to record the times they would do each activity in their perfect day AND calculate the elapsed time from the first activity.

perfect day 1perfect day 2perfect day 3

As an extra challenge, Rocker and Emma created their own time quiz! They collaborated to come up with some elapsed time problem solving questions using Google Slides and they would love everyone to attempt their challenging quiz below. Good luck!



What do you think of Rocker and Emma’s quiz?

How has your time knowledge improved?

Do you have a favourite time of the day or night?

List some “time words” in your comment.

Fractional Me

As part of Education Week, the grade four students have been working on a special maths task that integrates art.

Education Week

Students each created a “Fractional Me” self-portrait using small coloured squares of paper.

To complete the task:

1. Students planned their “Fractional Me” by deciding what their self portrait would look like and what colours would be used.

2. They cut up squares of paper. Each square had to be the same size. We used the folding technique to ensure the squares were of equal size.

3. Students laid out their squares and glued them to black card.

4. They then calculated and recorded the fraction of each colour that was used on their self-portrait. The total number of squares used was the denominator. Each amount of colour present became the numerator.


We discussed that some students may be able to find equivalent fractions in their self-portraits. For example:

Equivalent fractions


It was fantastic to see the students use their creativity in maths and the results are excellent! The self portraits are quite life like and very effective. Check out the photo slideshow below to see each of the “Fractional Me” posters.


The other classes at our school are all completing art based maths tasks this week too. They will all be displayed in our school gym on Friday. We look forward to seeing what the other creative students in our school produce!


What do you think of our “Fractional Me” posters?

How else can art and maths be integrated?

Can you record some equivalent fractions in your comment?

Fractions Fun!

We have been learning about fractions in Maths.

We know that a fraction is an equal part of a whole.

Our learning has focussed on:

  • Understanding numerators and denominators
  • Using and understanding a fraction wall
  • Identifying and naming a variety of fractions
  • Putting fractions on a number line
  • Comparing fractions and identifying fractions that are greater than/less than other fractions
  • Recognising equivalent fractions
  • Understanding mixed fractions
  • Identifying fractions in a collection of objects
  • Using fractions in problem solving


We have completed some great learning tasks in our fractions unit so far. Check out the slideshow below to see the 4B students in action!


This week, all students completed a homework task which involved them taking photos of fractions they see in everyday life at home. Everyone did a fantastic job! The slideshow below features some of their work!


We are looking forward to continuing our fractions knowledge as we relate fractions to decimals and percentages!


What have you learnt about fractions during our maths lessons?

How has your fractions knowledge improved?

Do you have a fractions tip for other students?

When do you use or see fractions in every day life?

Dynamic Division!

This week we have been improving our division skills.

Specifically, our learning focus has been: To apply appropriate strategies to solve division equations mentally.

Our goal by the end of the year is to have automatic recall of all division facts up to 10 x 10.

In order to improve our mental division strategies, we completed a variety of lessons practising several helpful strategies.

Some of these strategies are:

  • Skip counting
  • Counting on from a known fact
  • Using inverse operations (this is the relationship between multiplication and division).

Some division facts lend themselves to specific strategies. For example:

When you ÷1, the answer will always be the number you started with

When you ÷ 2, you can just halve the number you started with

When you ÷ 4, you can halve the number you started with, and then halve your answer

When you ÷ 8, you can halve the number you started with, then halve your answer, then halve your answer again.

We discussed that all division problems can be solved using your knowledge of multiplication!


Of course, sometimes the number you start with (the dividend) isn’t evenly divisible by the number of groups (divisor). In this case, you have remainders. During the week, students used their times tables and skip counting skills to solve a variety of remainder problems.

During the week, students could challenge themselves by using larger dividends and divisors to extend their knowledge.


One of our activities this week involved students selecting a variety of dominoes and using the number of dots on each side of the domino to form a fact family of multiplication and division equations. Fact families come from the inverse operation relationship between multiplication and division.

The slideshow below has images of dominoes. Try to say or write the multiplication and division fact family using the number of dots on each domino to create inverse operations.


What have you learnt about division this week?

How have your mental strategies improved?

Do you have any division tips?

When do you use division in real life?

Addition Strategies

This week we focussed on addition strategies in our maths lessons.

We use addition in every day life all the time, so it is important to improve our skills in this area of maths. Here are some effective addition strategies that we used in class this week:

  • The addition tens and twenties facts
  • Doubles and near doubles addition facts
  • Double doubles (for example, 8+8=16 and 16+16=32)
  • The Jump Strategy to add hundreds, then tens, then ones by jumping on a number line
  • The Split Strategy  to split the hundreds, tens and ones and add them separately
  • The Compensation Strategy when a number we are adding is close to a “round” number we can add or take to the nearest 10
  • 100 facts (addition equations that equal 100)
  • Adding to the nearest 10 when solving two (or more) digit addition problems
  • Adding hundreds, tens and ones when solving three digit problems
  • Using a range of efficient addition strategies during problem solving tasks.

In our classroom we use a variety of hands on and interactive games, strategy-based tasks, real life problems and websites/apps to develop our mathematical skills.




We used a range of resources and materials in our maths lessons this week, including:

  • Dice
  • Number boards
  • iPads
  • Games on the interactive whiteboard
  • Our “Boom” cards
  • Number fans
  • Calculators (to check our answers)



What addition strategies do you enjoy using?

When do you use addition in everyday life?

Do you have a favourite addition website or app?