Some Planning Tips

I have received a few queries about planning. Here are some basic planning tips and materials to help you get started or make the process a little easier.

1. Threads

We have created these Threads that you can look at. They should help you get a rough idea of what you should expect from students in the Year level that you are about to teach [Kristin Humphreys – the co-designer of these Threads – is an experienced teacher ]. You can also look at the relevant Curriculum Documents for your State or Territory, which will be based on the Australian Curriculum.

They show how topics thread through the curriculum. Look at your Year level(s) and take a quick look at the year level before and the year level after to get a feel for the topic. For example, will you be introducing this topic for the first time in your year level, or has it been taught in previous years and you are just building on what has gone before? You’ll be able to tell easily with the visual layout of the threads.

2. Milestones

We have some detailed plans called Milestones which are step by step plans for teaching basic Number Facts and other skills such a reading the time. We have linked these to specific resource materials, some of which are free to download and others that are commercially available.

3. Check Data

Check your data. Ask previous teachers about the class and look at any data that is available to feel a feel for the class. You can use Starting Points to find out what individual students learned in the previous year. We have some short online assessments that may help find out how students are going. See for some assessments on Subitising and basic number facts.

4. Lesson Structure

Establish a lesson structure in the first weeks of the term. Thank you to Belinda Visser and the team from Madeley Primary School for providing a sample lesson structure.

A basic structure would include a 10 minute warmup.

This might include basic number facts (See Milestones)

See Warmup Routines booklet

Rob Vingerhoets has some wonderful warmup ideas and lesson ideas by year level on his website. See

Warm ups might include A4 free games or POP

  • Tune the students in
  • Tell the students what the lesson is about
  • Explain the vocabulary to be used.

See My Word Book

Vocabulary Flash Cards

Body of the Lesson

Consider: will you be teaching the whole class, or having the students work in groups or pairs?

The Free book here on my site Managing Maths Activities Sessions will help with planning some of these lessons (Covers Years 3 to 6).

Other free support books may be found in

The Threads mentioned earlier provide page number links to First Steps in Mathematics which are often a good place to go too.

Lastly, find out what the students learned (Often called the Reflection)

Repeat …