Make term 1 count

Assisting your kids with homework is one thing, but with Coronavirus making you a full-time teacher, we can all agree that teaching is not for everyone. Dwelling on past experiences won’t really do you or your children any good though – what you need to do is make a conscious effort to make the first term count.

At MUM CFOs, we have roped in one of Australia’s leading mathematics educators and authors, James Burnett to guide you in helping your child as they head back to school in 2021.

According to Burnett, Visual Representations is one of the best ways to keep students engaged.

“Visual learning better engages students as it allows them to conceptualise what is being taught. It gives connections to what students already know, and in doing so, help them to more easily understand new ideas, ” said Burnett.

To achieve this type of learning you can use household items or illustrations found online and on books.

Collaborating and Communicating is second on Burnett’s top 3 learning and teaching tips.

One of the most significant ways that children and adults can learn new ideas is by collaborating and communicating. He says this allows students the opportunity to construct their understanding by discussing and justifying their thinking, as well as by evaluating how others think.

“Spark open conversations with your child on how they obtain a mathematical answer and ask them to talk you through their thinking process. This will allow your child to reason and reflect on their strategy which in turn will create a more purposeful learning experience,” he said.

He went on to emphasise the importance of allowing your child to apply their classroom skills to ‘real life’ scenarios. Summarising this as Presenting Opportunities; Burnett says this can be as simple as asking your older child to figure out the discounted price while grocery shopping or talking about fractional measures as you cook or bake together.

“A conceptual approach requires students to use their newly-acquired understanding to think, reason and then apply these understandings to problem-solving situations that are rich and meaningful to them,” said Burnett.


Burnett is the co-founder and executive chairperson of ORIGO Education, an organisation focused on creating a love of mathematics. ORIGO publishes and covers all facets of primary mathematics education throughout the world, supporting primary teachers across 14 countries, including Australia, the US, Canada, Singapore and Thailand. To find more information about ORIGO Education, visit


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