Proportional thinking - Early proportional thinking

This resource has been developed in partnership with the NSW Mathematics Strategy Professional Learning team, Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners, and Literacy and Numeracy.

Using the resource

This resource is the first section of a four-part resource supporting proportional thinking. Use this resource in conjunction with the other resources in this series in order to support a connected network of critical mathematical concepts, skills and understanding.

Supporting tasks

Full instructions on how to use each of these tasks- including materials, related tasks and learning intentions - are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Task 1: Numbers on a line

Core learning: Visualising the whole to approximate and adjust estimations of halves and quarters.

  • Variation 1: Repeat the activity with numbers with various ranges of three- or four-digit numbers.

  • Variation 2: Students identify the related fraction and write it underneath the number cards.

Task 2: Colour in fractions

Core learning: Equivalent fractions express the same amount by using different sized fractional parts

Task 3: Make a whole game

The task is from Teaching Mathematics: Foundations to Middle Years, page 542, Make a Whole Game from Siemon et al. (2021).

Core learning: There are many different fractions equal to any given fraction and a fraction can be renamed using equivalence

Task 4: Decimal numbers on a line

Core learning: Benchmark fractions can assist in dividing space on a number line.

  • Variation: Students order decimals and fractions on a number line.

Task 5: Decimats

The task is from D. Clarke and A. Roche, Engaging Maths: 25 Favourite Maths Lessons, (2014).

Core learning: Renaming numbers using place value understanding helps to sequence, order and compare numbers.

  • Variation: Play the game again, this time including thousandths

Task 6: Rolling arrays

Core learning: Mental models of arrays are helpful for exploring multiplicative situations.

  • Variation: Students build the complete array and move the counters to show the fraction of the collection


  • Numeracy

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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