Accelerated Learning in Maths


Dear Parent

Your child ............... has been selected to be part of a group of students included in the Ministry of Education’s ALiM pilot project. The aim of the program is to take children who are at risk of not meeting the national mathematics standard for their year group and provide targeted support to ensure they have all the skills and knowledge to make the desired progress.  

This is a program where your child will participate with a group of six peers at a similar level to them in mathematics lessons with an experienced maths teacher (James Rea). This project will be running for a period of 8 - 10 weeks during term 3 where your child will receive four additional 45 minute math lessons each week (32 - 40 sessions total).

This is a great opportunity to address any gaps or misconceptions in your child’s mathematical understanding and ensure they have the capability and confidence to be successful in mathematics both now and in future y


A parent evening including wine and cheese will be held on Wednesday the 13th of July in the library from 5:30 - 6pm. We will discuss more about the program and how you can support at home, looking at some practical examples of the concepts and language being taught.

Please sign the tear off portion of this page and return it to the office by Friday July 8th to acknowledge acceptance of your child’s position in this program and your attendance at the parent evening.  If you are unable to attend the parent evening or would like further information please make a time to meet with me.

Yours sincerely,

James Rea

Deputy Principal

Russell Street School

I agree to my child _____________  participating in the Russell Street School ALiM group in term 3 2011.  I will/ will not (please circle) be attending the parent evening on July 18th .

Name of Parent/Caregiver                                                                      

Signature of Parent/Caregiver                                                            


What is ALiM?

The Ministry of Education is developing resources and programmes for small groups of

students who need support in addition to effective classroom teaching to meet National


The Accelerating Learning in Mathematics Exploratory Study (ALiM) is for students with

learning needs where a short term boost/acceleration of learning would get them to the

expected level of achievement. It follows the successful 2010 ALiM exploratory study

which showed that it is possible for teachers to accelerate the learning for small groups of

underserved students by providing a 7 to 10 week intensive focused programme.

More information and summaries from the 2010 program can be found on the NZ Math website

Why was my child chosen?

Teachers at Russell Street School were asked to put forward the names of children who may have gaps in their understanding or a limited range of strategies to solve problems. These children were not already receiving support in mathematics and they thought would make significant progress from a short boost. Mathematical data was gathered and the children were tested to find a small group of children with similar skills and needs.  

What is in it for my child?

Extra time with an experienced maths teachers focused on their maths needs. Time to talk and reflect where the pace of learning is slowed to ensure they understand concepts. Working with a small group of similarly able children where they will have to contribute and participate.

How will the program run?

The children will be withdrawn from their class on a Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday and Friday to participate in a 45 minutes session. This will be an additional lesson to the classroom maths lesson and on a rolling timeframe to ensure they don’t always miss their favourite lessons or other important learning.  The program will run for 8 - 10 weeks in term 3.

How can I support at home?

Logging onto the blog to keep up to date and leaving comments.

Being familiar with the language and strategies being used and supporting the learning at home. (Ask James or your child’s teacher for explanation if needed)

Ask your child to explain what they are learning.

Be positive and promote a can do attitude, expect your child get the concepts. No excuses “your father wasn’t any good at maths either”.

 Look for fun ways to practice maths at home. See the National Standards parent flier.

What feedback can I expect?

If you would like to know what we have been up to log on to our Blog at  The children will be creating a learning wall in their class to record and share their ideas in the class.

Assessment: Your child has been assessed prior to the commencement of the program and will be assessed again at the end. The results and progress will be collated on the Ministry database to assess the success of the program. Anecdotal notes and records of understanding will be collected throughout the learning program but your child will not be identified in these results or the reporting to the Ministry of Education.

Mathematical Concepts and Language

Over the 10 weeks there will be a strong focus on the language of mathematics developing skills and understanding to support them in solving mathematical challenges. Below are some of the strategies and terms the children will be using.

Strategy development: below are examples of the strategies we will be looking at and examples of solving problems using that style of thinking.

These strategies involve deriving the answer from known basic facts,e.g.,8+7 is 8+8–1 (doubles) or 5+3+5+2 (fives) or 10+5 (making tens).

Their strategies with multi-digit numbers involve using tens and hundreds as abstract units that can be partitioned, e.g.,43+25 = (40+20)+(3+5) = 60+8 = 68 (standard partitioning) or 39 + 26 = 40 + 25 = 65 (rounding and compensation) or 84–8 as 84 – 4 – 4 = 76 ( back through ten).

Knowledge development: below are examples of the knowledge we will be developing.

The student knows:

• groupings within 100, e.g., 49 and 51 (particularly multiples of 5, e.g., 25 and 75);

groupings of two that are in numbers to 20, e.g., 8 groups of 2 in 17;

 groupings of five in numbers to 50, e.g., 9 groups of 5 in 47;

groupings of ten that can be made from a three-digit number, e.g., tens in 763 is 76;

The student says:

• the number word sequences, forwards and backwards, by ones, tens, and hundreds in the range 0–1000;

• the number 1, 10, 100 before and after a given number in the range 0–1000;

• the skip-counting sequences, forwards and backwards, in the range 0–100 for twos, threes, fives, and tens.

The student orders:

The student recalls:

multiples of 100 that add to 1000, e.g., 400 and 600, 300 and 700.