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This paper provides a snapshot of the whole number knowledge of nearly 2000 Australian primary school children that was gained through use of a one-to-one assessment interview. The assessment data was related to a corresponding growth point framework that describes learning trajectories in counting, place value, addition and subtraction strategies, and multiplication and division strategies. The findings highlight the broad distribution of growth points in each domain for each grade level, and the wide distance between the lowest and highest growth points in each grade level and each domain. This demonstrates the complexity of classroom teaching and highlights the challenge of meeting each student’s learning needs. Particular issues related to children’s learning emerged from the data, and these suggest important themes for teacher professional learning and for refining mathematics curriculum. These include: (1) interpreting 2-digit and 3-digit numbers; (2) using reasoning strategies as opposed to counting-based strategies in addition and subtraction; (3) and strategies for solving partially modelled and abstract problems in multiplication and division.

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Conference Paper

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