IfSR - Number and place value
The Interview for Student Reasoning - Number and place value (IfSR-NP) is the first of a series of on-demand assessments that enables teachers to hear and see how students apply their mathematical understandings of number and place value. IfSR-NP is divided into four sections:
- Section 1: Understanding numbers to 10
- Section 2: Understanding numbers to 30
- Section 3: Understanding numbers to 120
- Section 4: Understanding three-digit numbers and beyond
More information on each section is available below.
Assessment guide and materials
The Assessment guide and student materials document (PDF 460KB) (staff only) supports teachers to administer the assessment.
The first part of the document outlines:
- the purpose of the assessment;
- details on how to prepare for, administer and lodge the assessment and;
- a summary of related syllabus outcomes and links to the National Numeracy Learning Progression.
The second part of the document 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 507KB) (staff only).
Section 1: Understanding numbers to 10
Explores the ability to recognise, read, represent, order and interpret numbers in multiple ways as well as in terms of their parts. When working towards Early Stage 1 outcomes and beyond, representing numbers in multiple ways is essential for developing number sense.
- Download Section 1: Understanding numbers to 10 - materials and printable resources (PDF 1.44MB) (staff only).
Section 2: Understanding numbers to 30
Explores the ability to represent, partition, name, record, compare and order numbers, as well as use 10 as a reference in forming numbers from 11 to 20. When working towards Early Stage one outcomes and beyond, developing a sense of the size of numbers, their order and relationships is essential for developing number sense.
- Download Section 2: Understanding numbers to 30 - materials and printable resources (PDF 1.32MB) (staff only).
Section 3: Understanding numbers to 120
Explores the ability to count, order, read, represent and work flexibly with 2- and 3-digit numbers. When working towards Stage 1 outcomes and beyond, developing efficient counting strategies through an understanding of the place value pattern ‘10 of these is 1 of those’ is vital.
- Download Section 3: Understanding numbers to 120 - materials and printable resources (PDF 816KB) (staff only).
Section 4: Understanding 3-digit numbers and beyond
Explores the ability to apply place value to order, read, represent, partition, interpret and round numbers including decimals. When working towards Stage 2 outcomes and beyond, developing a sound understanding of the base 10 numeration system enables students to have a quantitative understanding of place value as well as rename numbers in multiple ways.
- Download Section 4: Understanding three-digit numbers and beyond - materials and printable resources (PDF 2.16KB) (staff only).
Teachers administer the assessment using the online tool for entering student responses. The online tool is available via ALAN.
The ALAN helpdesk has solutions for all ‘How to' questions for administering the assessment
This short preparation video 'How to navigate the online assessment' helps teachers familiarise themselves with the online tool.
The Interview for Student Reasoning – IfSR, is an online on-demand diagnostic numeracy assessment.
The IfSR informs teachers of the way a student reasons and uses their mathematical knowledge.
What is IfSR - Number and place value?
IfSR - Number and place value or IfSR-NP is an online assessment that enables a teacher to gain insights into how a student reasons and works with numbers and place value including decimals and patterns.
From the insights a teacher can establish where students are in their learning in order to target their teaching.
The tool enables a teacher to monitor student progress through the use of PLAN2.
There are 4 sections in IfSR-NP.
Each section has 3 subsections, with 4 subsections in section 4.
All items are aligned to the Mathematics K-10 syllabus and the National Numeracy Learning Progression.
Who is IfSR-NP for?
The assessment is designed to be delivered flexibly to assess individuals or groups of students K-10 to identify their reasoning skills in number and place value.
You can select students who you would like to gather more information on. It is designed to supplement existing school practices and inform your decision making within the teaching and learning cycle to identify how students construct their mathematical understandings and to help you tailor your teaching more specifically to student needs.
How do I administer the online assessment?
Before you begin the assessment, read the assessment guide, familiarise yourself with the online assessment tool and prepare the necessary materials.
Select the year level, class or group.
Select the student, then choose to begin or continue the assessment for the student you are working with.
Confirm the student and section by selecting the ‘Start’ or ‘Continue’ button, to start or resume the assessment.
The IfSR-NP assessment has been modularised to give you flexibility in assessing sub-skills for targeted teaching.
This allows you to select the starting point when beginning each section.
When administering each question you will see: the sub-section being assessed, any materials that may be required, and instructions for the task.
Read the questions to the student that are marked with a speech bubble icon.
How are responses recorded in the tool?
Record student responses by selecting an option from the response panel.
You can record a comment, noting the student’s behaviour.
This will assist you when analysing the results.
Select the ‘Flag’ button to mark and draw your attention to particular tasks.
Select ‘Next’ to move to the next question.
Responses will be saved automatically.
How do I navigate the assessment?
The progress bar displays the count of completed tasks out of the total number of tasks for that section.
Move to a specific task by selecting ‘Go to’.
How do I review individual student progress in the IfSR tool?
View the number of questions in the sub-section and navigate to a specific question if needed.
Answered questions display in blue, not answered in white, and flagged with a black triangle in the top left corner.
Close the progress bar to return to the assessment.
To pause the interview without completion, select the ‘Exit’ button in the top right corner.
This will save your progress and close the assessment screen.
How do I finalise responses and lodge the assessment?
To lodge the assessment select ‘Finish Interview’.
Lodgement will not be possible until all tasks have been responded to.
Navigate to any unanswered tasks, or mark all unanswered tasks remaining as ‘Not given’, noting a reason and any additional comments.
You can also ‘Save and exit’ to lodge responses at a later time, or finalise student responses by selecting ‘Lodge’ once all responses have been recorded.
Once lodged, student responses cannot be modified.
How do I access student assessment analysis and responses?
View the status of an assessment and access a student analysis for each section assessed from the main page of the online tool.
Here you can continue, re-assess or begin a new assessment.
Re-assessment of a section can occur at any time.
A Student Assessment Analysis can be downloaded in the online tool for each section assessed.
The analysis can assist in making decisions about the next steps in learning to meet the needs of individual students.
Where else can I analyse student responses?
IfSR-NP maps student responses to the National Numeracy Learning Progression in PLAN2.
Direct links to class observations and cohort snapshot are available via the 'Class analysis' button.
The Area of focus template in PLAN2 is aligned with IfSR-NP to enable you to target your teaching.
For further information on the Interview for Student Reasoning diagnostic numeracy assessment, please visit the IfSR web page.
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Becoming mathematicians: How numbers and fractions work: professional learning video exploring how numbers and fractions work by examining critical components in the development of students' number sense, including the relationships between quantities, language and symbols in making meaning, representing quantities, hierarchical inclusion and the importance of place value.
- access 'Becoming mathematicians: How numbers and fractions work' via MyPL (course code NR28548).
Becoming mathematicians: Quantifying collections: professional learning video and accompanying resource examining 2 components of quantifying collections; subitising and counting with understanding.
- access 'Becoming mathematicians: Quantifying collections' via MyPL (course code NR29516).
Becoming mathematicians: Exploring patterns: professional learning video and accompanying resource examining some components of exploring patterns, from Kindergarten to high school.
- access 'Becoming mathematicians: Exploring patterns' via MyPL (course code NR29611).
Improving reading and numeracy course: Number and place value (primary): professional learning course supporting teachers to understand and implement evidence-based teaching strategies for number and place value and access, adapt and implement universal resources to support effective teaching practice.
- access 'Number and place value (primary)' via MyPL (course code NR31671
Improving reading and numeracy course: Number and place value (secondary): professional learning course supporting teachers to understand and implement evidence-based teaching strategies for number and place value and access, adapt and implement universal resources to support effective teaching practice.
- access 'Number and place value (secondary)' via MyPL (course code NR31675)
Quantifying collections (in six parts)
- Connecting number names, numerals and quantities
- Building relationships - part-part-whole
- Building relationships - more than, less than, equivalent in value to
- Benchmarks of 5 and 10
- Comparing, ordering, sequencing and estimating
- Building place value
Resources supporting the evidence-based teaching of numeracy more broadly are available on the:
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.
About this resource
Advice on use
IfSR - Number and place value (IfSR-NP) is part of a suite of teacher-led online numeracy assessments administered by the classroom teacher to individual students through one-to-one interviews. They can be administered at any point in time to reveal what a student knows, ways a student reasons with and thinks about mathematical tasks, and as a tool to investigate the gaps in a student’s mathematical knowledge.
- The assessment is modularised to give teachers flexibility in assessing sub-skills for targeted teaching.
- The administration is flexible and adaptable to enable teachers to gather information on a student's conceptual knowledge in numeracy.
- IfSR - NP does not need to be administered within a specific timeframe or from beginning to end.
- Teachers tailor the administration of the assessment to suit the needs of individual students by selecting either a section, sub-section or specific tasks. For example, a teacher may select to administer only a small group of tasks in one section.
- The teacher decides on tasks and/or sections by reviewing existing assessment such as classroom observations and/or teacher judgement.
This resource may be used across the curriculum where it supports the teaching and learning of numeracy skills aligned to syllabus outcomes.
For further advice on use, please see the IfSR-NP assessment guide.
When using these resources in the classroom, it is important for teachers to consider the needs of all students, including Aboriginal and EAL/D learners.
EAL/D learners will require explicit language support and scaffolding, informed by the Enhanced EAL/D enhanced teaching and learning cycle and the student’s phase on the EAL/D Learning Progressions. For further information visit the English as an additional language or dialect education webpage.
Learning adjustments enable students with disability and additional learning and support needs to access syllabus outcomes and content on the same basis as their peers. Teachers can use a range of adjustments to ensure a personalised approach to student learning.
A range of tools to identify, assess and challenge high potential and gifted learners are available to support teachers in the classroom. Identifying contributors to achievement helps teachers identify and target areas for students’ growth and improvement. A differentiation adjustment tool can be used to plan effective teaching strategies.
Alignment to system priorities and/or needs
These resources reflect the following existing frameworks:
- Mathematics K-2 Syllabus (2022)
- Mathematics 3-10 Syllabus (2012)
- National Numeracy Learning Progressions (Version 3)
- Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
- Literacy and Numeracy Five Priorities
Alignment to School Excellence Framework
These resources support the School Excellence Framework and clearly align to the following domains and themes:
- Assessment: Formative Assessment, Summative Assessment
- Student Performance Measures: Internal and external measures against syllabus standards
- Effective classroom practice: Lesson planning, Explicit teaching, Feedback
- Data Skills and Use: Data Analysis, Data Use in Teaching
- Learning and development: Expertise and innovation
Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (2020). What works best: 2020 Update, CESE website
Clarke D, Clarke B and Roche A. (2011) ‘Building Teachers’ Expertise in Understanding, assessing and developing children’s mathematical thinking: the power of task based, one-to-one assessment interviews’, ZDM Mathematics Education 43:901-913
Department of Education and Training, Victoria (n.d.) Assessments for Common Misunderstandings, DET Victoria website
Hurst C and Hurrell D (2016) Assessing Children’s Multiplicative Thinking Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
Lamon, S (1999) Teaching Fractions and Ratios for Understanding – Essential content knowledge and instructional strategies for teachers. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum and Assoc
Siemon D, Beswick K, Brady K, Clark J, Faragher R, and Warren E (2019) Teaching Mathematics: Foundations to middle years. Oxford University Press
Booker G, Bond D, Sparrow L and Swan P (2014). Teaching primary mathematics. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia
Vale C, Bragg L A, Widjaja W, Herbert S, and Loong E Y-K (2017). ‘Children's mathematical reasoning: opportunities for developing understanding and creative thinking’, Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 22(1), 3
Comments and feedback to contribute to evaluation and support ongoing resource development can be provided via Literacy and Numeracy resource feedback form.
Reviewed by: Literacy and Numeracy team
Last updated: January 2023
Anticipated resource review date: January 2024