The Australian mathematics curriculum caters for the acquisition of basic concept skills and processes. It contains three content strands: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. Each of these are divided into a number of sub-strands or topics, which set out what needs to be learnt. Entwined with these are the four proficiency strands of Understanding, Fluency, Problem solving and Reasoning, which determine how the content is studied and developed so that mathematical learning and understanding continue to progress over the years.
This book generally follows the basic format of the Australian Curriculum Mathematics, which provides that by the end of Year 1, students should be able to do the following:
- Describe number sequences resulting from skip counting by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s.
- Identify representations of one half
- Recognize Australian coins according to their value.
- Explain time durations.
- Describe two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects.
- Describe data displays.
- Count to and from 100, and locate numbers on a number line.
- Carry out simple additions and subtractions.
- Partition numbers using place value.
- Continue simple patterns involving numbers or objects.
- Order objects based on lengths and capacities using informal units.
- Tell the time to half an hour.
- Use the language of direction to move from place to place.
- Classify outcomes of simple familiar events.
- Collect data by asking questions, and draw simple data displays.
Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning are a central part of Mathematics content across the three major strands (Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability). These are generally treated as individual chapters. Because the Number and Algebra sub-strand is quite extensive, it has been broken up into several parts for convenience, so as not to present the child with a daunting amount of information to access in one chapter. At the end of each chapter there is a series of tests, generally ranging through:
There will be differences from school to school, as teachers tend to select topics in varying sequences. Some students may be involved in accelerated promotion, enrichment or remedial activities. Completing a chapter involves careful marking of answers from the solutions given at the end of the book. If a student gets any answer wrong, then it is very important to find out why they were wrong before moving onto the next level.
In some instances it is difficult to test young children with pencil and paper tests, such as with 3D shapes. Suggestions have been made for practical evaluation strategies. These will include such activities as estimating in the Measurement strand, recognising shapes and reading the time. Even in the Number and Algebra strand, practical testing can be more appropriate, e.g. half fill this glass, share these Smarties between the members of a family. Many students will find that they can do much of the work in a particular strand before the end of Year 1. There are a number of avenues to follow:
- Make sure the child understands all the other strands in this text.
- After a period of time, say 3 or 4 weeks, do the test again to see that the information has been retained.
- Go to work in the next book in this series. This will require careful monitoring.
About the Exercises
At the end of each sub-strand (or part of a sub-strand) there are usually six exercise pages. These exercises are carefully graded in accordance with the Year 1 Curriculum content and are laid out as follows:
- Two pages of EASIER questions.
- Two pages of AVERAGE questions.
- One page of DIFFICULT questions.
- One page of EXTENSION questions
All the question pages have very thorough full-page solutions at the end of the book.