Stage 2 - number – addition and subtraction - addition

Supporting speakers of Aboriginal English

8 Ways of Learning for Aboriginal students. Tell a story. Make a plan. Think and do. Draw it. Take it outside. Try a new way. Watch first, then do. Share it with others.


Ensure activities are relevant and have a purpose that is meaningful for the students. Only use apps and online games to practise skills that have already been modelled and will later be applied independently in meaningful activities.

Consider how you can include the following 8 Ways of Learning for Aboriginal students in your teaching strategies.

  • Story sharing: approaching learning through narrative.
  • Learning maps: explicitly mapping/ visualising processes.
  • Non-verbal: applying intra-personal and kinaesthetic skills to thinking and learning.
  • Symbols and images: using images and metaphors to understand concepts and content.
  • Land links: place-based learning, linking content to local land and place.
  • Non-linear: producing innovations and understanding by thinking laterally or combining systems.
  • Deconstruct/reconstruct: modelling and scaffolding, working from wholes to parts (watch then do).
  • Community links: centring local viewpoints, applying learning for community benefit.

These 8 ways can be considered more simply as: Tell a story. Make a plan. Think and do. Draw it. Take it outside. Try a new way. Watch first, then do. Share it with others

Activities to support the strategy

Activity 1

Set up a class shop with items that have price tags attached. Students are to choose a minimum of 2 things to buy and have to add them together to get the total. Students write a receipt and make their written calculation. Teacher models how to place the two sums in an algorithm if needed or how to calculate it mentally through various addition strategies such as split, jump or counting on (display posters of strategies around the room).

Students make items such as cultural artefacts (e.g. boomerangs, bush tucker, artworks) with input from local community members. Items are to be sold at a community event held at the school. Students consider costs of production and value of objects and then decide on pricing and attach price tags. Members of the school and community could come in and purchase items while students are to be the shopkeepers and calculate totals and change. As a class, total the amount made and then work out profit after subtracting costs. Optional other activities to integrate with other Maths strands: data: creating a graph of how much they have made, subtraction, etc.

Activity 2

Using the IWB students count with one-to-one correspondence or by other known counting strategies to calculate the total amount of objects.

  • iPad games: fish addition, fish addition and subtraction.

My number story book, can be individual or whole class. Students to create a page with a number story that is related to their interests to make the learning significant. On each page they have to draw a picture to represent the story with the corresponding symbols ( +, -, x, /, =), underneath write the number sentence and then create a written story about their number sentence (see below). Students can cover the answer with a sticky note or flap (piece of paper with sticky tape) and share their stories in a class book/ with peers. Students have to work out the answer before checking underneath flap.


Australian curriculum

ACMNA055: Recall addition facts for single – digit numbers and related subtraction facts to develop increasingly efficient mental strategies for computation.

NSW syllabus

MA2-5NA: Uses mental and written strategies for addition and subtraction involving two- three- , four- and five-digit numbers.

Teacher resources

Numeracy app

Math Master Free: Practice makes perfect, and Double6 Math Master makes maths practice fun. Now your child can learn to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and more. A fun and engaging game helping to sharpen math skills and keep your child occupied. Match each sum tile with its correct solution tile in the fastest time. Along with Math skills; memory and speed play a big part in this game, making it more challenging and fun.

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