Back to Mathematics
Computational thinking poster – Digital Technologies and Mathematics
This poster provides a visual representation of the four components of computational thinking in the Digital Technologies and Mathematics curriculums: Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Abstraction and Algorithms.
Computational thinking in the Victorian Curriculum – A0 size (pdf - 2.13mb)
Computational thinking in the Victorian Curriculum – A3 size (pdf - 577.23kb)
Computational thinking in the Australian Curriculum version - A0 size (pdf 2mb)
The A3-sized version of the poster can be downloaded, printed and added to student workbooks or similar.
Teachers and schools are also encouraged to download, print and display the A0-sized poster.
The A0-sized poster can be printed on an A3 printer by 'tiling' 3 × 3 A3 pages. To do this, select the appropriate tiling options within the print preferences in Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader app.
Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics – Unpacking the content descriptions
These resources unpack the Victorian Curriculum F–10 Mathematics content descriptions that address computational thinking and algorithms at each level in the Patterns and algebra sub-strand of the Number and Algebra strand.
Each resource provides teachers with links between one Mathematics content description and extract from the achievement standard related to computational and algorithmic thinking and a teaching and learning activity that is designed to develop computational thinking and problem-solving skills and produce corresponding algorithms in a mathematical context.
The resources have been developed with respect to teaching in the Mathematics learning area of the Victorian Curriculum, and they also include suggestions of how these activities could be extended to the Critical and Creating Thinking and Digital Technologies curriculums.
Foundation – Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics
Level 1 – Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics
Level 2 – Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics
Level 3 - Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics
Level 4 - Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics
Level 5 - Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics
Level 6 - Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics
Level 7 - Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics
Level 8 - Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics
Level 9 – Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics
Level 10 – Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics
Level 10A – Computational and algorithmic thinking in Mathematics
Mathematics Sample Programs
A set of sample programs covering the Victorian Curriculum Mathematics: Foundation – Level 10 have been developed
as examples to illustrate how the Mathematics curriculum could be organised into yearly teaching and learning programs based on a selection and sequence of topics covering the three strands: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.
When the year-long sample teaching and learning programs are combined, you then have a Mathematics curriculum area plan, demonstrating the sequencing of knowledge and skills to progress learning across the years of schooling.
Teachers are advised that while these sample programs provide comprehensive coverage of content descriptions from the three strands of the Mathematics curriculum and are sequenced to develop knowledge and skills expressed in the achievement standards; there are other ways that the curriculum content can be arranged to suit the learning needs of students.
These sample programs could be used:
- to review an existing teaching and learning program
- to develop an alternative program using these structural headings (a unit plan/topic template is provided to support this process)
- to explore the sequencing of topics and the associated knowledge and skills in a semester or whole-year program
- as a source of ideas for context/topics, activities and assessment
- as the basis for a comprehensive teaching and learning program
- to explore the development of a curriculum area plan that articulates a sequential and cumulative design to progress student learning and reduce unnecessary repetition or gaps across years of schooling.
The sample programs are not intended as a prescribed or preferred topics for inclusion in a yearly teaching and learning program or curriculum area plan.
Further information about the essential elements to incorporate when developing units of work and curriculum area plans, can be accessed from the
Curriculum Planning Portal.
Using the materials
The Mathematics Sample Program consists of two components:
curriculum area plan which demonstrates how student learning can be sequenced to develop knowledge and skills across years of schooling.
Teaching and learning plans covering the three strands from the Mathematics curriculum, showing how the knowledge and skills can be conceptualised into topics across a year.
These materials cover the three strands: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.
Curriculum Area plan
A Mathematics curriculum area plan covering the topics for all three strands has been developed for each of Prep – Year 6 and Year 7 – Year 10.
These plans could be used to assist teachers in planning with consideration of the:
- development and sequence of related topics across the years
- focus and time allocation for coverage of content (knowledge and skills)
- balance of topics across the strands to support learning progression based on the curriculum continuum and reduce the risk of repetition or gaps.
The Mathematics curriculum areas plans have also been presented by strand. The strand specific plans provide indicative time allocations and sequencing of knowledge and skills.
Sample teaching and learning programs
The sample program for each year contains an overview and unit plans developed around a specific topic.
The overview for each year includes:
- the topics including the strand/s and sub-strand/s addressed, suggested time allocations and sequencing
- the coverage of content descriptions within each topic
- the achievement standards for three levels to support planning for a continuum of learning
- a summary of the Mathematics proficiencies (understanding, fluency, problem solving and reasoning).
The unit plans/topics include:
- the topic title and suggested sequencing
- the strand/s and sub-strand/s and content descriptions being addressed
- coverage of the achievement standard
- teaching and learning activities that can be undertaken to cover the curriculum content and provide for a range of student abilities
- aspects of the proficiencies that have a particular focus in the topic
- assessment ideas giving some suitable activities
- resource links to websites, including FUSE.
annotated example of a unit plan/topic provides further explanation of the sections within each plan.
unit plan/topic template is provided for teachers who may wish to develop their own programs or units.
Primary Maths Sample Program
Primary Curriculum Area Plans
Curriculum Area Plan all strands F to 6
Number and Algebra F to 6
Measurement and Geometry F to 6
Statistics and Probability F to 6
Secondary Maths Sample Program
Secondary Curriculum Area Plans
Curriculum Area plan all strands 7 to 10
Number and algebra 7 to 10
Measurement and Geometry 7 to 10
Statistics and Probability 7 to 10
The following external links are for teacher reference purposes. They do not constitute VCAA endorsement of the views or materials contained on these sites.
Aligned Australian Curriculum Resources
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
The ABS provides useful data sets for
statistical investigations as well as pedagogical resources.
Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT) is a not-for-profit organisation which provides a range of competitions, teaching resources and professional learning opportunities in mathematics, computational thinking and algorithmics.
The Discovery series of problems is a free teacher resource for teachers covering themed problem sets for Year 3 – 10, with hints, solutions and videos of mathematicians and other presenters working through sample solutions.
Computational and Algorithmic Thinking (CAT) competition provides an introduction to algorithms without the need to understand programming, and the online version of this competition is currently free to schools.
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
The Australian Taxation Office’s
Education Zone provides a range of resources aligned to the 7 - 10 mathematics curriculum that supports the implementation of content related to financial mathematics.
Tax Super and You is a free on-line teaching and learning resource of several modules with interactive elements that provide real-world mathematical contexts for the teaching and learning of financial literacy.
Code is a non-profit US organisation that provides a range of learning resources and free educational materials related to coding. These link to US Common Core Mathematics, which is similar to the Victorian Curriculum F–10 Mathematics.
Computer Science Unplugged (CS Unplugged)
CS Unplugged is a project of the Computer Science Education Research Group at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. The project has developed a range of
free resources and activities (note: large pdf download) that cover concepts, skills and processes involving computational thinking and algorithms independently of implementation by particular digital technology or programming language. Many of the examples, problems and activities used are mathematical in nature and relate closely to the Victorian Curriculum Mathematics, in particular, the primary years.
FUSE is a Department of Education and Training (DET) website which provides access to digital resources that support the implementation of the Victorian Curriculum F – 10. This includes an extensive range of activities and other resources for
primary mathematics and
International Mathematical Modelling Challenge (IMMC)
The International Mathematical Modelling Challenge (IM²C) is a free team-based competition developed to support the real-world application of learning, build proficiency, encourage collaboration, and challenge students. It provides a range of teaching and learning resources and professional learning in mathematical modelling, including the
Teacher and student guide to mathematical modelling.
MathWorld is a free on-line digital mathematics encyclopaedia resource by Wolfram Research and is linked to the free on-line computational engine
WolframAlpha. Together these provide teachers and students with access to mathematical knowledge and examples through online queries in natural language, and also a means of carrying out related numerical, graphical, statistical and symbolic computations.
MoneySmart Teaching resource
F–10 teachers are encouraged to access MoneySmart Teaching, an initiative funded by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). MoneySmart Teaching has developed a range of teaching resources designed to help children and young people improve their levels of consumer and financial literacy.
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM)
The University of Utah’s NLVM collection of digital resources provides learning activities corresponding to a broad range of mathematical topics.
NRICH enriching mathematics
This University of Cambridge project provides a range of teacher and students resources.
reSolve: Mathematics by Inquiry
Mathematics by Inquiry is a national program funded by the
Australian Government Department of Education and Training and managed by the
Australian Academy of Science in collaboration with the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers
The program has developed a set of free F – 10
resources for Australian schools, teachers and students that are designed to support mathematics learning in engaging and innovative ways.
The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI)
AMSI: www.amsi.org.au/ is a collaborative non-profit organisation representing mathematical interests in Australia. It supports mathematics educators and teachers through various activities and includes
a collection of online modules designed to support teachers further develop their mathematical background in selected topics.
One of its resources is
Mathematics of Planet Earth, a source of classroom materials that use mathematics and statistics to understand the challenges facing the world in fun and accessible ways, whilst providing teachers with related support materials, links and contacts.
Wolfram Demonstrations Project and
Computational Thinking Initiative
Wolfram Demonstrations Project provides a range of free interactive demonstrations of various topics across the school mathematics curriculum.
The Computational Thinking Initiative includes a range of cloud-based sample activity lesson plans.
Wolfram Victorian Community
The Wolfram Victorian Community is a resource provided by the Victorian Department of Education to support the implementation of STEM in the curriculum.
It includes discussion forums for the STEM areas, including mathematics, and resources for the use of Mathematica, Wolfram Alpha and System Modeller as tools to support teaching and learning in and across these areas of the curriculum. It also includes a link through which Victorian secondary teachers and students can
access these software.
Mathematics teaching and learning references
The following references provide overviews of student mathematical development and related aspects of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment for the primary and/or secondary years.
Booker G, Bond D, Sparrow L, and Swan P (2010).
Teaching Primary Mathematics
4th edition. Sydney: Pearson.
Goos M, Stillman G and Vale C (2008).
Teaching Secondary School Mathematics – Research and practice for the 21st century. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
Hattie J, Fisher B, Frey N, Gojak L, Delano Moore S and Mellman W. (2016).
Visible Learning for Mathematics: Grades K-12: What Works Best to Optimize Student Learning. London: Corwin.
Hine G, Reaburn R, Anderson J, Galligan L, Carmichael C, Cavanagh M, Ngu B and White B. (2016).Teaching Secondary Mathematics. Melbourne: Cambridge.
Hunting R, Mousley, J and Perry, B. (2012).Young Children Learning Mathematics. Melbourne: ACER Press.
Johnston T. (2016).
Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had: Ideas and Strategies from Vibrant Classrooms. York: Stenhouse.
Statements of Learning for Mathematics. Carlton: Curriculum Corporation.
Prochazka, H. (2014).
The Mathematics Book … anyone can do it!. Trevallyn: Zenolith
Serow P, Callingham R and Muir T. (2016).Primary Mathematics : Capitalising on ICT for today and tomorrow. Melbourne: Cambridge.
Siemon D, Beswick K, Brady K, Clark J, Faragher R and Warren, E. (2015).
Teaching Mathematics: Foundation to Middle Years 2nd edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Skemp R. (1989).
Structured Activities for Primary 1 and 2. London: Routledge.
Van De Walle J A, Karp K S and Bay Williams, J M. (2010).
Elementary & Middle School Mathematics - Teaching Developmentally 7th edition. Boston: Pearson.
Third party (commercial) digital resources
There are a range of third-party (commercial) digital resources that schools may choose to use as part of their suite of teaching and learning materials. Schools and teachers will need to develop and apply their own criteria and processes for trialling and evaluating the suitability of such resources for their contexts.
To assist schools and teachers, the VCAA has reviewed several resources with respect to the following broad criteria:
- the resource covers four or more consecutive years of learning
- the resource maps to the Victorian Curriculum: Mathematics and cover all three mathematics strands
- the resource supports teachers to identify additional learning needs and appropriate intervention/s after a teaching and learning sequence has taken place and diagnostic data obtained
- the resource provides digital (and possibly other) materials to support targeted teaching/learning for individuals, small groups and larger groups of students
- the resource provides diagnostic tools and/or analytics to help monitor and evaluate student progress and achievement.
Information about third party resources which meet the above criteria is available here.