Maths facilitator Mrs Collins visits Room 8

Wairakei Primary School has been lucky to have visits from Mrs Shirley Collins, a professional learning facilitator from Waikato University, throughout the year.

The purpose of these visits has been to upskill teachers in various areas of mathematics. Mrs Collins has worked within classrooms and with teachers one-on-one to look at ways of improving practice around the teaching and learning of maths. Mrs Collins is a self-described ‘teacher’s teacher’.

Room 8 students learned some new games that really got us thinking. One was ‘Decades’, where we had to get as close to a decade number as we could using four playing cards and a variety of operations. Another was using ‘Four 4s’ to make all the numbers from 1 to 20 using any operation (harder than it looked). While we were working on these tasks with buddies, Mrs Collins did a workshop with a small group based on algebra and number patterns. Mrs Collins uses many materials in her workshops and this is a lot of fun.

Thank you for all your help, Shirley.

You can view these tasks in action.


Adam uses a variety of tools in his learning


Collaboration helps us learn from each other


iPads were another way we recorded our thinking


It was great to be able to use our times table knowledge


Jacoba and Freya clarify their thinking


Mrs Collins supports our thinking


Sharing ideas and recording them with the Apple Pencil


This helped with our multiplicative thinking


Using materials really helped us to see the number patterns


We took time to think carefully

We took time to think carefully3