Ability to make connections

In the Good Teaching section of this resource, the importance of students making mathematical connections was stressed. The ability of students to make connections needs to be assessed.

'Connected knowing' can include connections between:

  • elements of mathematics (e.g. place value in whole numbers connected with decimal fractions, as well as with metric measurements and decimal currency)
  • mathematical processes (e.g. multiplication and division being inverse operations)
  • written, symbolic and object formats (including pictures and other representations)
  • everyday objects or events with what is being learned in school mathematics.

Many resources and tasks can be used to focus on each of these separately but it is important to realise that some tasks allow a focus on all of the above. The activity called The Array is a simple resource that is useful for assessing connected knowing by students from F–2.

The array

An everyday item or picture can be used to assess the mathematical connections that students make.

Curriculum links

Year 2: Explore the connection between addition and subtraction

Year 3: Recognise and explain the connection between addition and subtraction

Year 4: Recognise that the place value system can be extended to tenths and hundredths. Make connections between fractions and decimal notation

Year 10: Explore the connection between algebraic and graphical representations of relations such as simple quadratics, circles and exponentials using digital technology as appropriate