Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Working with mathematical word problems

About this Illustration of Practice

The lesson focuses on reading and decoding mathematical word problems. On the advice of her Assistant Principal, the teacher utilises Newman's Analysis for Error to help her students to work with word problems. The teacher ensures the students understand the problem, then the students independently determine what resources they will use to help them to solve it. The teacher also models problem-solving methods for students who need extra support. The lesson concludes with a reflection on the methods used.

Standard 2
Know the content and how to teach it
Focus area 2.5
Literacy and numeracy strategies
Career stage
Apply knowledge and understanding of effective teaching strategies to support students’ literacy and numeracy achievement.
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. How might you embed literacy learning in all of your lessons?
  2. What strategies might you use to ensure your students have a deep understanding of the content being taught?
  3. How might you draw on support in your school to broaden your range of teaching strategies?
Learning area
Year level
Year 3
Australian Curriculum content descriptions
Humpty Doo Primary School
Northern Territory
Year level
Year 3
Year 4
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.