The CV

  •  17 years a class room teacher in the state system. Taught at all grade levels from Prep to Grade 6 with most years spent in Upper Primary levels.
  • Curriculum Coordinator at Ivanhoe Grammar School (Primary Section) for 4 years.
  • Principal of Buckley House – Ivanhoe Gramar school for 6 years
  • Author of Maths Course Advice – Primary. A comprehensive prep to grade 6 program for all primary schools (state, catholic and private) in the state of Victoria and is still used today.
  • Author of 8 Math Resource books. [The Maths Workshop; Maths on the Outside, Earn and Learn; Money, Money, Money; Maths In Space; Planning For Mathematics; Green Maths; Maths On The Go]
  • Presenter of Math Professional development for teachers for over 25 years on a diverse range of mathematical topics from environmental maths to planning and assessment. Presented throughout Australia and overseas. Keynote presenter on a number of occasions at Maths  conferences.
  • Worked in New York City as a maths consultant in 5 Brooklyn schools as well as doing many days of Workshop Presentations in Queens and New Jersey. While in New York I worked with students from Kindergarten to Year 8.
  • Since returning in September 2006 I have worked full time as a consultant/subject matter expert and have worked in schools from one end of the state to the other as well as working interstate and overseas. The bulk of my work involves modelling effective maths teaching in classrooms for teachers. The remainder essentially comprises of planning for maths with staff, Pd days and targetted PD sessions.

Sayings and Quotes

Some of my sayings and some quotes I think sum up my philosophy to maths and maths teaching. You know, when you break it all down, maths is only here to help us make sense of the world.

As teachers we need to Talk Less and Listen More

Effective teachers of maths (or anything for that matter) are good listeners to what kids to tell you and good recorders of what they tell you – get to a whiteboard/smart board/smart TY and record – this way they’re not just words floating in the ether they have meaning and symbols attached – record – more kids are now involved/invested.

To the kids: You’re the boss of numbers kids – they’re not the boss of you.

You have to be mobile for maths – if you’re the teacher and you’re sitting down during a maths lesson – I presume you must be injured!

Do explicit teaching at the point of need – be amongst your students.

Take every opportunity that comes your way to do maths with the kids – and not just during official maths time – I call it maths on a plate – take it – whether it’s when they’re lining up or when you are marking the roll or any of a hundred daily opportunities – never let a chance go by.

There are only 3 rules in maths and they apply to you and the students:
Rule 1: Record
Rule 2: Record
Rule 3: Record
If you are talking maths – get to a whiteboard and turn the spoken language into symbols. If the kids are talking maths – turn their language into symbols for them or have them come to the whiteboard to do it.

Kids are smart – trust them – don’t talk so much, get out of their way and allow them to show you what they already bring to the table.

Like Literacy, Maths is a genuine process area.

Why would you tell a student something that they could work out for themselves – if you set up the opportunity.

Day after day following of a maths program “dumbs you down and dumbs the students down”.

Wherever you can, integrate maths into other areas of the curriculum – make the connections.

Maths is all about the Context.

We have an obligation to engage our kids in maths.

“Assessment is something you do FOR kids not just TO kids”

Maths isn’t like going to the gym – it doesn’t have to hurt to be doing you good!

The art of good teaching is knowing when to get off the stage.