Effective teaching practices in mathematics across K–6

Learn about some effective teaching practices you can use in your mathematics classroom. This NESA-accredited Becoming Mathematicians sustained professional learning course is for teachers who are curious about the importance of dispositions, culture and how we can support students to think and work like mathematicians.

Effective Teaching Practices across K-6 promotes access and equity for the diverse range of students across NSW Public Schools. It explores:

  • high-quality mathematics tasks
  • intentional teaching practices
  • the importance of a productive classroom culture.

This professional learning supports a whole-school approach to the leading, teaching and learning of mathematics. To support teacher voice and targeted teaching, some modules offer differentiation through learning pathways that have been developed inside the course structure.

It has been developed by the NSW Mathematics Professional Learning team in partnership with leading mathematics education academics, some of whom make appearances inside the professional learning.

Who this course is for

Participants may complete this professional learning individually or together as a team. Participants could include:

  • any teacher or leader interested in enhancing their understanding of some important big ideas in mathematics across K-6
  • Assistant Principals, Curriculum and Instruction (AP, C&Is)
  • specialist support teachers
  • graduate teachers with a specialisation in mathematics
  • Stage 4 teachers and leaders focussed on supporting the transition between Stage 3 and Stage 4.

Learning as a school team

Learning together is usually more impactful than learning alone, however, it’s not always possible for schools. In previous years, participants have included:

  • individual teachers who have used their RFF because they wanted to learn more about maths
  • small teams from within a school

  • Deputy Principals and Principals who have participated in the learning alongside teachers

  • whole school teams who learnt together, using staff development days and professional learning meetings as time to come together to refine, affirm and deepen their understanding

  • teachers who have formed small communities of learners with colleagues at different schools, creating their own online learning spaces to talk about their ideas, learning and actions they took in classrooms.

The course

This professional learning opportunity aims to:

  • deepen understanding of evidence-based practices in mathematics education and explore how they relate to syllabuses

  • showcase examples of classroom practice, tasks and assessment tools

  • examine and reflect on the importance of classroom cultures and dispositions towards maths  

  • support knowledge for teachers across the horizon of K-6 and beyond

  • enhance teachers’ confidence in the teaching and learning of mathematics

  • deepen teachers’ knowledge

  • provide opportunities to work collaboratively within and across school communities

  • provide ideas about how teachers and leaders can enact on what is learnt.

Curriculum Reform and syllabus implementation

Research has shown that “effective mathematics teaching requires teachers to be skilled at teaching mathematics in ways that are effective in developing mathematics for all learners” (NCTM, 2014) This course offers school communities the opportunity to explore a range of teaching practices that promote mathematical reasoning, understanding, fluency, problem-solving, communicating and productive dispositions, aligning with findings of the NSW Curriculum Review.

NESA Accreditation

This course is registered with NESA, recognising a total of 16 accredited hours of professional learning, including:

  • the pre-requisite Introduction course – 2 hours (this is the same pre-requisite for for Big Ideas to Start Strong)
  • Effective Teaching Practices in Mathematics – 14 hours

After successfully meeting completion requirements for each course, your details will be processed into MyPL and NESA eTAMS within a month.

Course commitments

Becoming Mathematicians: Effective Teaching Practices in Mathematics across K-6 is an online course on Open Learning which teachers across NSW can access as best suits them. The course involves 8 self-paced parts with each taking approximately 2 hours to complete. This includes:

  • one prerequisite introductory “course” which provides some important background information for teachers who choose to participate in Effective Teaching Practices or Big Ideas to Start Strong

  • seven self-paced modules released throughout the year that unlock sequentially upon completion of the previous module

  • opportunities to play with mathematics and discuss, reflect and respond to ideas throughout each module.

Course content

Learning Availability (Cohort 3)

Prerequisite: Introduction course

On successful enrolment in the learning platform

Module 1: A tale of two tasks: the importance of task selection. 

Term 1, Week 1

Module 2: A goal without a plan is just a wish: establishing clear learning goals. 

Term 1, Week 6

Module 3: Using learning goals to become knowers, doers and sense-makers. 

Term 2, Week 1

Module 4: Who, what, where, why?: using questioning to target teaching. 

Term 2, Week 6

Module 5: Not too hot, not too cold…just about right! Targeting teaching to point of need. Part 1 

Term 3, Week 1

Module 6: Paying attention to intangibles: exploring classroom culture. 

Term 3, Week 6

Module 7: Not too hot, not too cold…just about right! Targeting teaching to point of need. Part 2 

Term 3, Week 6 

Participants may like to access this learning by:

  • planning a professional learning schedule of the modules across a number of terms
  • spending time across a few days to complete a module
  • by ‘saving up’ several modules to explore as part of a professional learning day.


Registration for Cohort 3 of Becoming Mathematicians: Effective Teaching Practices is open for NSW Department of Education teachers and school leaders. Once you commence your learning in Cohort 3, you will have access to the course until the end of Term 4, 2025.

You will need to consider the time commitment and discuss this learning opportunity with your principal to get their approval to participate. There is no cost associated with this professional learning. However, if casual relief is used, that will need to be covered by the school.

Each person taking part in the learning must register. You can complete the registration individually or one colleague can register each participant in your school team. Allow up to 2 weeks to receive an email with access information for the professional learning. Once you commence your learning in Cohort 2, you will have access to the course until the end of Term 2, 2025.

Register now for Cohort 3

If you are in a non-school-based teaching (NSBT) role, please register using the K–6 Mathematics professional learning – NSBT form

Contact us

Contact the NSW Mathematics Professional Learning team for further information.


  • Early Stage 1
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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