NZAMT Conference 15
3rd-6th October, 2017
Christchurch, New Zealand


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Click here to submit an workshop abstract for the 2017 NZAMT Conference

The Organising Committee invites you to submit an abstract for the 2017 NZAMT Mathematics Biennial Conference. The committee is looking for presentations which are topical and of interest to conference attendees.

The conference will be showcasing innovative learning and teaching of Mathematics, with examples of best practice and thinking around the current issues in our classrooms. This is a chance for you to share your experiences and knowledge with your peers and we encourage you to submit an abstract.


The conference team will have three strands

300 word maximum and must include up to three key points and be submitted by Wednesday 31 May 2017.

Please note, if your abstract is accepted, you will be notified by 16 June 2017.

Possible Presentation Ideas

Presentation Options

There are three options to choose from - you can select


If your abstract is accepted, it is a requirement that you register and pay to attend the conference.


Great Math Lessons on Digital Devices

Dan Meyer, USA

The free Desmos Activity Builder allows teachers to create interesting and educational math experiences for secondary students on digital devices. We’ll learn how to use existing lessons from the Desmos user community, how to adapt your existing worksheets, and how to create our own lessons from scratch.

Dan Meyer taught high school math to students who didn't like high school math. He has advocated for better math instruction on CNN, Good Morning America, Everyday with Rachel Ray, and He earned his doctorate from Stanford University in math education and is the Chief Academic Officer at Desmos where he explores the future of math textbooks. He speaks internationally and was named one of Tech & Learning's 30 Leaders of the Future. He lives in Mountain View, CA.

Using open questions to create open students

Marion Small, Canada

Sometimes students are streamed for mathematics and sometimes not. But in any classroom, there is always a spread of student readiness for the mathematics we offer. For that reason alone, it is important to use more open-ended questions that aim at a broader audience. But there is an added bonus. Not only do open-ended questions help us differentiate, they also provide much richer and more multi-layered understanding of mathematics for all students, from the weakest to the strongest. Lots and lots of examples you can use immediately will be provided, as will strategies to create your own.

Marian Small, the former Dean of Education at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, writes and speaks about K-12 math around the world. Her focus is on teacher questioning to get at the important math, to include all students, and to focus on critical thinking and creativity.

Some resources she has written include Making Math Meaningful for Canadian Students: K-8, Big Ideas from Dr. Small (at several levels), Good Questions: A Great Way to Differentiate Math Instruction, More Good Questions: A Great Way to Differentiate Secondary Math Instruction, Eyes on Math, Gap Closing (for the Ministry of Education in Ontario), Leaps and Bounds toward Math Understanding (at several levels), Uncomplicating Fractions, Uncomplicating Algebra, Building Proportional Reasoning, Open Questions for the Three-Part Lesson (at several levels), and is currently authoring MathUp, a new digital teaching resource.

Maximising mathematics learning and engagement using culturally responsive practices

Robin Averill, NZ

In this interactive and invigorating workshop we will examine effective mathematics teaching using three frameworks for culturally responsive practice (Tatāiako, values form the Pasifika Education Plan, and the whare tapa wha). We will do this by having fun exploring together a range of rich mathematical activities suitable for curriculum levels 3-7. Nau mai, haere mai!

Robin is Associate Dean (Teacher Education) at Victoria University of Wellington, Te Whare Wānanga o Te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Māui. Robin has worked extensively in primary and secondary mathematics teacher education and contributed to many mathematics books and resources. Robin’s research in culturally responsive teaching and equitable learning opportunities is grounded in teachers’ and students’ views and practice. Robin believes that excellent mathematics teaching develops all students’ learning, and their curiosity and thirst for more.

Conceptualizing Variation from the Mean: Evolving from 'Number of Steps' to the 'SAD' to the 'MAD' to the 'Standard Deviation'

Chris Franklin, USA

Wouldn't it be wonderful if every student who graduated secondary school understands, "What it means to be two standard deviations away from the mean?"" Our teaching experience demonstrates that students more often than not can't conceptualize what the standard deviation is measuring; instead, the students are too focused on getting the number, full stop!  This workshop will share interactively how conceptual understanding of the standard deviation is being promoted across grade levels in the US.

What are key practices for students to apply when developing statistical habits of mind?

Chris Franklin, USA

In the US, students and teachers are expected to use eight mathematical practices that help them with the habits of mind necessary to acquire and apply mathematical knowledge. These also guide teachers lesson planning and formative assessment, and when viewed through a statistical lens they can reinforce well formed statistical thinking. In this workshop we'll explore how the mathematical practices could be used within NZ classrooms to promote sounds habits of mind for both mathematical and statistical reasoning.

Doing Mathematics Like a Research Mathematician

Anthony Harradine

Sounds hard, hey!
Well it is not, and it might just be the answer to some of your prayers.
If you can add-up, take-away and do a few other lowly mathematical processes you’ll be sweet-as.

Intrigue, surprise, OMG-moments – while doing mathematics? Well yes, but like a research mathematician does it – just with simpler tools.

It will be fintastic (sic) fun, and you will get a few gems to take back to the classroom; you’ll be chuffed. Comes and see the mathematical beauty that was born when lazy Ms. Dillon set ‘funny’ homework’ and how striking out numbers leads to mathematical thinking that comes from ‘nowhere’, just like migic (sic).

Seriously, come along, do some maths, and take it back to your students – they will love it. Suitable for all teachers of upper primary, secondary and beyond.

Anthony began teaching mathematics in 1984. Currently Director of the Potts-Baker Institute at Prince Alfred College, he has spent the last thirteen years trying to better understand his 'failureAs' of the previous twenty. His many mentors have taught him a lot about mathematics and statistics, doing mathematics and statistics, and research. He likes nothing better than sharing ideas with anyone silly enough to have a conversation with him. He really likes mathematics and statistics.

In the recent past, his professional time has been filled with a variety of tasks that include: ‘conductor’ of problem-solving workshops, mathematical-person in residence, leader of a unique STEM project (eduKart), Advisory Board Member (The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences), Prime Ministerial working group member (Transforming Learning and the Transmission of Knowledge), consultant, web application developer, curriculum writer and teacher.

What is actually important about the quadratic?

Anthony Harradine

Positive means happy face?
Negative means sad face?
+2 means 2 to the left?
y-intercept of …

Come along and experience a learning journey that gets to the heart of why this often-maligned creature is actually a true gem.
It may change the way you teach the quadratic forever – big call! ☺

A cure for fraction-angst?

Anthony Harradine

a) If asked how you think about the fraction three-quarters, what is your answer? Do you have more than one way to think about three-quarters?

b) If asked how you think about three-quarters multiplied by eight-elevenths, what is your answer? Do you have more than one way to think about three-quarters multiplied by eight-elevens?

c) If asked how you would calculate  three-quarters multiplied by eight-elevenths, what is your answer?

Were your answers to b) and c) different?

It turns out there are a number of ways of thinking about fractions, all good, but one better than the others when it comes to moving one's think past the trivial starting points that young minds first meet.

Come along and hear about a flow of ideas that can be developed with students that has the potential to change, dramatically, a student's success with fractions at school.

The flow of ideas has been developed into a set of uncomplicated, but engaging activities for students.

(Suitable for teachers of anyone who is learning about fractions.)

Data science - a new frontier?

Pip Arnold

In February this year Pip attended the Data Science Education Technology conference in San Francisco. Data science encompasses the broader fields of mathematics and statistics, content knowledge and computing and data skills. The conference was hosted by the Concord Consortium, the developers of the common online data analysis platform CODAP This session will address Pip’s latest thinking on data science seven and a bit months on. She will also give you a hitch hikers guide to CODAP and the other teaching and learning activities that the Concord Consortium have been working on. These are not restricted to statistics, but include mathematics and science learning activities.

Pip was a project director for the primary mathematics contract for the North Island from 2012–2016. She led a team of 45 facilitators who collectively worked annually in over 100 schools providing in-depth tailored mathematics PLD. She has led the data collection and collation process to ensure accurate diagnosis of primary presenting needs and accurate and focused reporting of impact. Pip has previous experience in curriculum and assessment development. She was a member of the mathematics and statistics curriculum writing team and has been involved in achievement standard development. Pip led the development of the secondary senior guides for mathematics and statistics on TKI. Formerly Pip was head of mathematics at Auckland Girls Grammar School, followed by work as a secondary mathematics advisor before joining Cognition in 2010. Pip completed her PhD in statistics education in 2013, her thesis topic was posing and answering statistical investigative questions.

Mathematics Education Leadership for the Future

John Staley

Tomorrow’s leaders are sitting in our classrooms today and they are counting on us to prepare them to be globally competitive, mathematically literate citizens. How might we provide rich learning opportunities so that all students have access to meaningful and relevant mathematics? What lessons can we take from our Past to influence our Present, so that the Future we envision becomes our desired reality?

Teachers, middle management, and those in leadership (all of us) are invited to join the conversation as we unpack our roles and responsibilities to ensure that all students have access to high quality mathematics learning experiences; achieve at high levels and grow academically; and are prepared to contribute to society as mathematically literate citizens.

Dr. John W. Staley currently serves as the Director of Mathematics PreK-12 for Baltimore County Public schools, Maryland. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Maryland, College Park; Masters in Secondary Education from Temple University; Ph. D. from George Mason University in Mathematics Education Leadership. Dr. Staley taught middle and high school mathematics in private and public school settings in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland and has also served as an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University, Loyola University, UMBC, and Morgan State University.

During his career he has presented at state, national, and international conferences; served on many committees and tasks forces; conducted workshops and professional development sessions on a variety of topics; received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science; and served on the Board of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM). He recently completed serving a two year term as President of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics.

Dr. Staley and his supportive wife Karen have three children Jonathan, Alexis, and Mariah, and is PopPop to Bevelyn Shennai. He truly believes that ALL students can be successful in mathematics.

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