Number Check analysis and response

Classroom analysis and learning design

The results from the Number Check provide a starting point to evaluate students’ current level of number understanding. When combined with other observation and assessment evidence, teachers will gain a more complete picture of their students’ learning needs. 

Analysing student errors allows teachers to see students’ specific strengths and weaknesses in number learning and gives teachers a means for selecting their teaching strategies. Similarly, examining student strategies in arriving at a correct answer may provide an insight into students’ level of understanding. For example, in Q3 of the Number Check students who rely on counting each dot individually to get the correct answer may have a different level of understanding to those who are able to identify the number of dots by subitising a small group and counting on.

Teachers should carefully analyse students’ responses to the Number Check and other assessments to investigate the skills and knowledge the students display so that differentiated teaching can be planned accordingly. Such teaching is designed to accommodate students with different levels of number and counting knowledge and skills by differentiating at the point of practice and independent work. Differentiation strategies will sometimes involve the whole class and sometimes small groups or individuals. 

After the Number Check, teachers may wish to follow up with relevant activities to develop knowledge and skills associated with each question that the student found challenging. 

Follow up learning

To begin with, some students may benefit from activities that help them to recognise that a collection of objects can be made up of different arrangements. For example, seven stickers can be arranged as ‘a 4 and a 3’ in a tens frame layout which may minimise the need to count. Having students compose and recompose different arrangements and representations of different collections helps them to develop mental strategies. 

Students need to develop their knowledge of place value, recognising that 10 is a building block of our numeration system. Tens frames are used to illustrate numbers less than or equal to 10, and are useful devices for developing number sense within the context of 10. By creating various arrangements of counters on the tens frames and posing simple questions, teachers can prompt students to use different mental images of numbers and different mental strategies for manipulating these numbers.

For suggested follow-up activities and resources for each question in the Number Check refer to the resources below or download this PDF.

Resources to support follow-up learning


Video or interactive activity

Counting beetles
Select Level 1. Connect numerals and quantities. Students count the beetles on screen then select the correct number.

Hands-on activities

  • Have students trace with their finger the number to experience the numeral formation. Say the number name with the numeral representation.
  • Have number cards, 1 to 10, and ask students to identify the number 6 card, as the numeral name is spoken.

Video or interactive activity

Quantifying collections - paddlepop sticks 1

A video for students that explores regrouping and renaming when counting up to 20. Uses counting sticks to demontrate the pattern of regrouping and renaming a counted collection at each ten when counting forwards. Models ungrouping and renaming when counting backwards.

Please note: This site contains links to websites not controlled by the Australian Government or ESA. More information here.

Hands-on activities

  • Have students identify the numerals of 12. Ask ‘What does the 2 represent?’ ‘What does the 1 represent?’ Draw on students’ understanding of place value.
  • Model teen numbers using materials such as bundling sticks to demonstrate 1 ten and the ones (units).

Video or interactive activity

Subitising: match my collection

View the video Subitising: match my collection 

Please note: This site contains links to websites not controlled by the Australian Government or ESA. More information here.

Hands-on activities

  • Using pasta or another uniform item, have students re-create the pattern of dots that are shown briefly.
  • Have students draw the dots they see into a row or familiar array to assist with counting.

Video or interactive activity

Number trains

Numbers 1–20 (Select Level 2)

In this activity, students place number carriages on a track in correct order, counting by ones to complete trains with carriages. It requires some problem-solving strategies to complete the task.

Hands-on activities

  • Use number cards, a string line and pegs, have students order the number cards in correct ascending order.
  • Have students identify and place the ‘next card’ after a particular number card, such as 15, for numbers less than 20.

Video or interactive activity

Number trains

Numbers 1–20 (Select Level 2)

In this activity, students place number carriages on a track in correct order, counting by ones to complete trains with carriages. It requires some problem-solving strategies to complete the task.

Hands-on activities

  • Use number cards, rope and pegs, have students order number cards in correct ascending order. Focus the ordering around the tens numbers, e.g. 9, 10, 11 or 19, 20, 21.
  • Have students identify and place the ‘next card’ after a particular number card, such as 20, for numbers less than 30. 

Video or interactive activity

100 Square Jigsaw 

Use the interactive 100 Square Jigsaw, which requires students to apply their understanding of counting both forwards and backwards to help them complete the square filled with numbers in the correct sequence. This activity draws on the student’s knowledge of what number comes before a particular number (from 1-100).

Please note: This site contains links to websites not controlled by the Australian Government or ESA. More information here.

Hands-on activities

  • Use a hundreds chart and cover numbers with sticky notes. Have students identify the number that comes before (or after).
  • Place a group of number cards in order e.g. 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47 and flip them over. Have the student identify the number before (or after) as cards are individually flipped over.

Video or interactive activity

Number trains

Numbers 30–50 (Select Level 3)

In this activity, students place number carriages on a track in correct order, counting by ones to complete trains with carriages. It requires some problem-solving strategies to complete the task.

Hands-on activities

  • Use base ten blocks to explore tens and ones (units) in counting patterns, and what happens when a number such as 49 is reached.
  • Provide students with a large collection of items such as 56 icy pole sticks. Have students organise and count the objects. Then ask what is the total if I have one more object? Encourage students to count on.

Video or interactive activity

100 Square Jigsaw

Use the interactive 100 Square Jigsaw, which requires students to apply their understanding of counting both forwards and backwards to help them complete the square filled with numbers in the correct sequence.

Please note: This site contains links to websites not controlled by the Australian Government or ESA. More information here.

Hands-on activities

  • Have students create large number lines using masking tape and number cards. Have students stand on a starting number. Then ask what number comes before. Have the student move to the number. Continue to ask what number comes before establishing the number sequence.
  • Provide students with a set of number cards mixed up and have them order the cards in sequence counting backwards, counting by ones. 

Video or interactive activity

Investigate ten-frames

Introduce ten frames for students to count and represent numbers 1 to 10.

Ten-frame filler

View the video to see how to play a strategy game to fill as many 10 Frames as you can. The game is played with a dice and a sheet with ten frames. A player who completes the ten-frame (for example, rolling a three and there is a ten-frame with 7 already filled), claims it by writing their initials on top of the ten-frame. The player with the most ten-frames at the end is the winner!

Please note: This site contains links to websites not controlled by the Australian Government or ESA. More information here.

Hands-on activities

  • Provide students with 10 small objects such as counters. Have students collect a certain number of counters.
  • Provide students with a tens frame. Have them populate the template with a set number of small objects/counters.

Video or interactive activity

Dot card talk 1

In this video, students complete simple addition to 10 using dot cards (cards representing a number using dots). They are asked how they worked out the number.

Please note: This site contains links to websites not controlled by the Australian Government or ESA. More information here.

Hands-on activities

  • Have two piles of small objects/counters e.g. 2 and 3. Have students count each pile of counters and then the total number of counters to find the total. Then have students practise counting on, by counting one pile (3) and then continue counting the rest of the counters to find the total.
  • Provide two numbers (under 5). Have students draw the matching number of objects for each number and then count to find the total.

Video or interactive activity

Dot card talk 4

In this video, students use tens frames to count collections of dots. They use strategies, such as adding dots from one frame to another, to make one full tens frame and one that is not full; making counting easier.

Hands-on activities

  • Have two piles of small objects/counters one with 9 and with a number less than 5. Have students use a strategy to find the total number of objects. Point out the bridging of the ten.
  • Have students use tens frames to add numbers. 

Please note: These sites contain links to websites not controlled by the Australian Government or ESA. More information here.

Teaching sequence

Addition and Subtraction - Block 2 

Introduce the language of subtraction, ‘Taking away’ in a range of real life contexts. Refer to the section, How many left? (pages 24-27)

Please note: This site contains links to websites not controlled by the Australian Government or ESA. More information here.

Hands-on activities

  • Provide students with 15 small objects/counters. Have students practise taking away 5, 6, 7 and 8 from the group
  • Draw chalk number lines on the ground to 20. Provide students with a starting number above 10, then have them subtract a provided number e.g. 5. Invite students to explain their thinking as they move along the number line to solve the problem.