IfSR - Multiplicative thinking

The Interview for Student Reasoning - Multiplicative thinking (IfSR-MT) is the third of a series of on-demand assessments that enables teachers to hear and see how students apply their mathematical understandings of multiplicative thinking. IfSR-MT is divided into four sections:

  • Section 1: Strategies for sharing and forming groups
  • Section 2: Flexible strategies with single digit numbers
  • Section 3: Flexible strategies with multi digit numbers
  • Section 4: Flexible strategies with rational numbers

More information on each section is available below.

Assessment guide and materials

The Assessment guide and student materials document (PDF 254KB) (staff only) supports teachers to administer the assessment.

The first part of the manual outlines:

  • the purpose of the assessment
  • details on how to prepare for, administer and lodge the assessment
  • a summary of related syllabus outcomes and links to the National Numeracy Learning Progression.

The second part of the manual details the materials required for each of the four sections for the assessment. Templates for printable resources are available in separate section documents below.

A complete paper version of the assessment items is also available for download if required (PDF 177KB) (staff only).

Section 1: Strategies for sharing and forming groups

Sharing and forming groups are characterised by sharing equally and working with a unit (one-to-many relationships). When working towards Early Stage 1 outcomes and beyond, students may use manipulatives and mental strategies to model and solve problems in multiplicative situations.

Download Section 1: Strategies for sharing and forming groups - materials and printable resources (PDF 556KB) (staff only).

Section 2: Flexible strategies with single digit numbers

Flexible strategies with single-digit numbers are characterised by the development of a range of flexible strategies such as using renaming, doubles and known facts that can be used for mental computation. When working towards Stage 1 outcomes and beyond, students apply a range of mental strategies in various multiplicative situations and represent thinking in a range of ways.

Download Section 2: Flexible strategies with single digit numbers- materials and printable resources (PDF 1.02MB) (staff only).

Section 3: Flexible strategies with multi digit numbers

Flexible strategies with multi-digit numbers are characterised by using appropriate mental strategies such as using known and derived facts, strategically partitioning and applying number properties. When working towards Stage 2 outcomes and beyond, students select and apply from an extended range of ideas to support a broader range of multiplicative contexts.

Download Section 3: Flexible strategies with multi digit numbers - materials and printable resources (PDF 698KB) (staff only).

Section 4: Flexible strategies with rational numbers

Flexible strategies with rational numbers are characterised by the application and extension of whole number place value knowledge, using known facts, strategically partitioning and the application of real number properties. When working towards Stage 3 and 4 outcomes and beyond, students work flexibly and efficiently exploring ideas that work in whole numbers and those that are unique when working with fractions and/or decimals.

Download Section 4: Flexible strategies with rational numbers - materials and printable resources (PDF 581KB) (staff only).

Online tool

Teachers administer the assessment using the online tool for entering student responses. The online tool is available via ALAN.

Multi-select response feature

An additional feature in IfSR-MT enables teachers to select multiple flexible strategies to acknowledge students’ thinking. This feature is available in section 2, 3 and 4.

When a teacher selects one or more strategies from the list, the information is recorded in the Student Assessment Analysis. This allows teachers to analyse the range of flexible strategies students are using, and to make informed decisions about next steps for each student. This can also assist in identifying if there is an over reliance on some strategies.

This short preparation video 'How to navigate the online assessment' helps teachers familiarise themselves with the online tool.

Note: this video will be updated in Term 1, 2023 to align to the new NSW Mathematics K-2 syllabus (2022), version 3 of the National Numeracy Progression (2020) and changes in the online tool.

Navigating IfSR Multiplicative thinking (IfSR-MT)


The ALAN helpdesk has solutions for all ‘How to' questions for administering the assessment

Professional learning

Additional professional learning supporting IfSR-MT will be available soon. See the IfSR-Number and place value and IfSR-Additive thinking web pages for related professional learning options.

Improving reading and numeracy course: Multiplicative thinking (K-8)

This professional learning course supports teachers to understand and implement evidence-based teaching strategies for multiplicative thinking and access, adapt and implement universal resources to support effective teaching practice.

  • Access ‘Improving reading & numeracy: Multiplicative thinking (K-8)' via MyPL (course code NR31653).

Multiplicative strategies: blended learning

This professional learning focuses on understanding of the development of multiplicative thinking and practical ideas for classroom application.

Additional resources

Flexible strategies (in four parts)

Resources supporting the evidence-based teaching of numeracy more broadly are available via:

Support

Visit the Interview for student reasoning web page for information on the purpose of the assessment.

Visit the Literacy and numeracy professional learning web page for more professional learning opportunities in the practical application of evidence-based teaching of numeracy.

Visit the ALAN helpdesk for solutions relating to administering the assessment.

Join the Interview for Student Reasoning channel in the Numeracy NSW statewide staffroom in MS Teams.

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