Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Using mental computation strategies

About this Illustration of Practice

The teacher uses a routine of tuning in, explicit teaching, development activities, and reflection. The lesson focuses on mental computation skills and developing automaticity. The teacher also supports students to describe and justify their own approaches to complex mathematical problems. Students are provided with foundational or more challenging tasks, and are allowed to select activities based on their level of confidence. At the end of the lesson students reflect on how they will apply their learning outside the classroom.

Standard 1
Know students and how they learn
Focus area 1.5
Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities
Career stage
Develop teaching activities that incorporate differentiated strategies to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.
Other descriptors
Standard 3
Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Focus area 3.3
Use teaching strategies
Career stage
Select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking.
  1. What strategies might you use to address student needs across the full range of abilities?
  2. What might be some of the benefits of using a warm-up or "tuning-in" activity?
  3. How might you draw on support in your school to broaden your range of teaching strategies?
Learning area
Year level
Year 5
Australian Curriculum content descriptions
Humpty Doo Primary School
Northern Territory
Year level
Year 5
Year 6
Related subject
Stage of schooling
School type
School location
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Humpty Doo Primary School is a Northern Territory Government primary school situated 40km South-East of Darwin. The school has a student population that reflects the multicultural diversity of the surrounding community with a large number of families who speak English as a Second Language. 25% of students identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and a further 30% of the students have Vietnamese, Thai, Filipino, Japanese, Indonesian, Cambodian, Spanish, Dutch or Chinese cultural backgrounds. Humpty Doo Primary School has a priority to develop the social-emotional wellness and inclusion of all members within the school community. To support this priority, the school is committed to being an active KidsMatter school and Tribes Learning Community. Staff work collaboratively in teaching and learning hubs to develop curriculum programs responsive to the Australian Curriculum with a current focus on literacy improvement and the implementation of Visible Learning approaches. 

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2014 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 30 June 2019, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.