Year 8

Mathematics Support Materials

Mathematics snapshot: Multistep problems

Mathematics/Measurement and Geometry/Using units of measurement/Time

Content Description Relevant aspects of the Achievement Standards

Solve problems involving duration, including using 12- and 24-hour time within a single time zone (ACMMG199)

Students make sense of time duration in real applications

Nature of the assessment

Teacher observation of students in a small focus group within a larger class.

Background information

The teacher had identified a group of students whose performance in the Year 7 NAPLAN test was at or below the minimum standard. He analysed their responses to questions relating to time in the NAPLAN test and noted the students could perform simple tasks involving the conversion of time between minutes and seconds and the ordering of time expressed in decimal form. He also noted that none of the students answered the multi-step tasks involving time correctly.

Purposes of the assessment

To assess the students’ ability to solve multi-step problems involving duration of time

Stage in the teaching sequence

Midway through a lesson sequence

Assessment process

The teacher used two questions (taken from the 2011 Year 7 NAPLAN test). The questions involved solving problems relating to time.

The students were given a few minutes to look individually at the first question and then were invited to take part in a discussion to explain how they would solve the question. The teacher used scaffolded prompts to involve those students who were reluctant to contribute to the discussion.

The process was repeated for the second question.

Using the information

The teacher used his observations to design further teaching of time in real applications.