Toby Russo

Toby Russo
Fitzroy North Primary School

Bachelor of Teaching (Primary and Secondary)

About

57
Publications
181,258
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86
Citations

Publications

Publications (57)
Article
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How can we engage all primary school students in rich mathematical learning, support them to make connections, and develop their mathematical language and reasoning? In this article, we draw on one school’s experience in considering an approach to mathematics instruction that could support teachers in addressing this question, specifically pursuing...
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Using children’s literature to support mathematics instruction has been connected to positive academic outcomes and learning dispositions; however, less is known about the use of audiovisual based narrative mediums to support student mathematical learning experiences. The current exploratory, qualitative study involved teaching three lessons based...
Conference Paper
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Research examining teachers’ decision making is abundant for pedagogical activities, yet a neglected area is the study of factors influencing teachers when selecting mathematical games. This article sheds light on the factors considered when teachers’ select a specific game to use in their primary mathematics classroom. Data from 248 Australian pri...
Preprint
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Mathematical games can be a useful tool for building connections between the learning that happens in the classroom, and the home environment (Russo, Russo & Bragg, 2018). Clearly, the events of 2020 have only amplified the potential power of mathematical games to be used for this purpose, as teachers have sort out highly engaging learning experien...
Article
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Mathematical games are widely employed by Australian primary school teachers to support mathematics instruction. Despite broad usage, prior research has not focused on the how and why games are employed from a teacher perspective. Australian primary school teachers (n = 248) completed a questionnaire designed to probe their experience with mathemat...
Article
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These two related short articles contain classroom activities for primary school teachers. Fairy tales provide wonderful contexts for exploring a variety of important mathematical ideas. Read or retell one of these fairy tales to students and undertake the associated investigation. Afterwards, invite students to reflect on their own favourite fairy...
Article
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Estimation supports the development of higher-level mathematical thinking and reasoning; however, has received relatively little research attention. We examined whether making predictions influences the accuracy of numerosity estimates in elementary-aged children, and whether the amount of information available to the estimator determines the accur...
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In early 2020, due to the COVD-19 pandemic, Australian schools were closed and students began an unprecedented time of remote learning. The current study aimed to understand how teachers planned and implemented mathematics learning programs for their students, the challenges they encountered, as well as the degree to which their students were motiv...
Article
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Understanding exponential growth is a fundamental aspect of developing critical numeracy skills; however, typically, exponential growth is introduced in curricular documents to secondary students. Moreover, such introductions tend to be in the context of formal mathematical modeling, divorced from a sense of quantity. We argue that, given its impor...
Article
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Regular contributors James and Toby Russo return with a sixth principle for educationally-rich mathematical games—almost all mathematical games have the potential to be transformed into an investigation. This article builds on their earlier piece with Leicha Bragg (APMC 23(3), 30–34).
Article
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Teaching assistants are not always utilised effectively in mathematics classrooms. Moreover, there is limited research examining instructional models that might more meaningfully incorporate teaching assistants into the teaching and learning of mathematics. To address this gap in the literature, the current study explored three distinct teacher-tut...
Article
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Movie clips can be an effective way to contextualise mathematical problems and engage students. These challenging tasks use a short video clip as a prompt to launch the problem.
Article
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A great deal of research has looked at the use of photographs, illustrations, and diagrams to support student understanding of mathematical concepts. In this paper, the authors explore some of the advantages that dynamic representations have over their static counterparts as they put movies under a mathematical lens.
Article
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Evolution is a strategy-based dice and card game that borrows ideas from evolution to create an engaging context to support the learning of important number concepts. Playing Evolution facilitates the development of several interrelated numerical skills and understandings, including skip-counting, factorising, and identifying prime and composite nu...
Article
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The following series of challenging tasks are built around three wonderful picture story books by author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers. We suggest reading each book and tackling these tasks.
Article
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Smoke and Mirrors is engaging game for middle and upper primary students that promotes the exploration of integers. It is an adaptation of the traditional game snakes and ladders, and is played on a modified gameboard which includes the first 100 negative numbers as well as the first 100 positive numbers.
Article
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Exploring non-standard partitioning and renaming numbers flexibly, can be considered at the heart of understanding whole-number place value (Rogers, 2018), however, it remains a difficult concept for children to grasp. These two games are intended to support students develop fluency with non-standard partitioning.
Article
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Building on recent research into the importance of positive teacher emotions for student learning experiences, the current study involved five upper primary teachers at a Victorian government school developing inquiry mathematics units built around topic areas of personal interest or passion. Respective students (n=88) elected to participate in one...
Conference Paper
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Building on recent research into the importance of positive teacher emotions for student learning experiences, the current study involved five upper primary teachers at a Victorian government school developing integrated mathematics units built around topic areas of personal interest or passion. Respective students (n=88) elected to participate in...
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Conference Paper
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Most primary school teachers would concur that mathematical games are a valuable pedagogical tool to deploy in the primary classroom; however, not all mathematical games are likely to be equally valuable. How might teachers decide which games to introduce in their classrooms? In this paper we attempt to support teachers to address this our intentio...
Article
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Mathematical games are widely used in the primary classroom; however, not all games are equally valuable. How might teachers decide which specific games to introduce? The authors present five principles of educationally-rich games to support teachers to address this issue.
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This investigation uses the classic Dr. Seuss text The Cat in Hat to explore proportion reasoning with upper primary students.
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The four pillars of student engagement, teacher engagement, breadth of mathematics and depth of mathematics are used to explain the benefits of a narrative-first approach for supporting the integration of mathematics and children's literature.
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This article outlines teaching ideas appropriate for primary mathematics. It is mainly aimed at primary school teachers and teacher-educators. Have students engage in these challenging questions relating to time, subtraction, probability and multiplication based around these images of the iconic Flinders Street station and its famous clocks.
Article
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This article outlines teaching ideas appropriate for primary mathematics. It is mainly aimed at primary school teachers and teacher-researchers. The Room on the Broom text is used as an example to illustrate how one might structure a lesson using the Narrative-First Approach.
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This paper presents a series of increasingly challenging mathematical tasks based around the much-loved children's book Where is the Green Sheep?
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This article takes readers through a challenging maths task built around the children's book, Where the Wild Things Are. Using the Narrative First Approach, the author has developed a task centred around Max's journey to the land of the wild things which explores concepts of relative time and proportional reasoning. The article provides student wor...
Conference Paper
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Setting students problem-solving tasks that are simultaneously engaging and mathematically important is central to primary mathematics instruction. Often an attempt to develop engaging tasks involves first determining the meaningful mathematics to be learnt, and then creating a ‘mini-narrative’ as a vehicle for exploring these concepts. However, in...
Article
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This article outlines teaching ideas appropriate for primary mathematics. It is mainly aimed at primary school teachers and teacher-researchers. Mr. Men stories are inspiration for this set of challenging problem solving tasks.
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This article outlines teaching ideas appropriate for primary mathematics. It is mainly aimed at primary school teachers and teacher-researchers. Read, watch, or just discuss J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with your class, and then get students to engage with these associated mathematical problems. The problems cover a dive...
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This article outlines teaching ideas appropriate for primary mathematics. It is mainly aimed at primary school teachers and teacher-researchers. Read the classic Dr. Seuss book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish with your class, then engage students in mathematics using these related math problems, which cover a diverse range of key mathematic...
Article
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This article outlines teaching ideas appropriate for primary mathematics. It is mainly aimed at primary school teachers and teacher-researchers. Multiple Mysteries is a challenging, thought-provoking card game which requires students to efficiently identify multiples of 6, 7, 8 and 9. It builds on the concepts explored in the Factor Fiction game (R...
Article
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Math by the Month features collections of short activities focused on a monthly theme. These articles aim for an inquiry or problem-solving orientation that includes four activities each for grade bands K–2, 3–4, and 5–6. In this issue, teachers read the classic Dr. Seuss book The Sneetches and other stories with their class and get students to eng...
Article
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This article outlines teaching ideas appropriate for primary mathematics. It is mainly aimed at primary school teachers and teacher-researchers. Factor Fiction (Fact-or-Fiction) is a strategy-based card game that encourages students to develop an intimate knowledge of how to efficiently factorise numbers between 1 and 99.

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Projects (3)
Project
The aim of this project is to examine how theory and practice might inform and strengthen one another in a primary education context.