General Description

Mathematics is a language. It has a syntax and grammar of its own. Too often when our students struggle it is not with the mechanics of the arithmetic but in understanding the language of the question.

In this course I will look at how we as teachers can explicitly teach the language used in and related to mathematics. 

I will look at routines and activities that are quick and easy to embed into your lessons that will develop students’ familiarity, confidence and use of mathematical vocabulary. These routines will also empower students to freely express their thinking so they can share with others.

I will show you how to:

•           conduct a number talk

•           craft and conduct number strings 

•           use context to help build fact fluency

•           change the language you use in the classroom

•           use Math Language Routines and Intentional Talk

•           how this all links with the Australian Curriculum Proficiencies

Together we will explore how to embed the use of language in the classroom, making it a noisy but productive environment.


This course is for all teachers of mathematics with a particular emphasis on those teaching Years 5 – 10

Teaching Standards

1.5.2 Proficient Level - Know students and how they learn - Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities:  Develop teaching activities that incorporate differentiated strategies to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities,

2.1.2 Proficient Level - Know the content and how to teach it - Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area:  Apply knowledge of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area to develop engaging teaching activities,

3.3.2 Proficient Level - Plan for and implement Effective Teaching and Learning - Use teaching strategies:  Select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem-solving, and critical and creative thinking,

3.5.2 Proficient Level - Plan for and implement Effective Teaching and Learning - Use effective classroom communication:  Use effective verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student understanding, participation, engagement and achievement


Are you in NSW? If so, this is relevant for you

This course may contribute towards Elective PD hours. Visit for more details.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Module 1 - Introduction

    • Meet the Presenter

    • Introduction

    • Course Rationale, Outline and Learning Objectives

    • AITSL Proficiency Standards

  • 2

    Module 2 - Number Talks

    • What is a Number Talk?

    • Why do a Number Talk?

    • Reflection Task

    • Number Talk Routine Explanation

    • Number Talk Routine

    • Hand Signals

    • Expectations

    • Reflection Task

    • A Number Talk with a Year 10 class

    • Reflection Task

    • Number Talks - Takeaways from the Video

    • NT video explanation

  • 3

    Module 3 - Dot Talks and Number Strings

    • Dot Talks

    • Jo Teaching a Dot Card Number Talk

    • Reflection Task

    • Dot Talks - Takeaways from the Video

    • Building Fact Fluency and Recognition of Relationships

    • Using a Number or Dot Talk to Teach Specific Strategies

    • Reflection Task

    • Number Strings

  • 4

    Module 4 - Crafting Discussions

    • Structuring Talk

    • Intentional Talk

    • Intentional Talk - Open Sharing

    • Intentional Talk - Targeted Discussions

    • Intentional Talk - Compare and Connect

    • Intentional Talk - Why? Let’s Justify

    • Intentional Talk - What is best and why?

    • Intentional Talk - Define and Clarify

    • Intentional Talk - Troubleshoot and Revise

    • Reflection Task

  • 5

    Module 5 - Language in Mathematics

    • Math Language Routines

    • MLR - Design Principles

    • MLR - The Eight Routines

    • Reflection Task

  • 6

    Module 6 - Variations on Number Talks and other Discussion Prompts

    • Variations on the Number Talk Theme

    • Numberless Word Problems

    • Numberless Word Problem - Example

    • Reflection Task

    • Other Variations

    • Reflection Task

  • 7

    Module 7 - Connection to the Australian Curriculum

    • Connection to the Australian Curriculum

    • Proficiency - Understanding

    • Proficiency - Fluency

    • Proficiency - Problem-Solving

    • Proficiency - Reasoning

    • Reflection Task

  • 8

    Module 8 - Going virtual

    • Going Virtual

    • Reflection Task

  • 9

    Module 9 - Conclusion

    • Takeaways

    • Reflection Task

    • Resources

    • References

  • 10

    Course Feedback

    • Feedback

Features of TTA Online PD

  • Availability

    Online courses are available 24/7. Designed to be done in your own time at your own pace.

  • Team Online

    All online courses are available for team purchase. Unlimited teachers from the one Campus for any course for $990 + GST

  • Money back Guarantee

    If you complete less than 25% of an online course and aren't completely satisfied, let us know, and we will cancel your enrolment and provide a full refund.