Assessing Reasoning: Year 3 Exemplars


These exemplar tasks are part of the special topic on “Assessing Mathematical Reasoning”. The exemplars are designed to provoke students’ mathematical reasoning and to assist teachers engage in formative assessment of students’ abilities to analyse, generalise and justify. Each exemplar is aimed at Year 3, with adaptability to other years. Students analyse the task situation, form or test conjectures, and explain their thinking to others. Lesson materials include task information with suggested reasoning prompts and further activities, along with multiple annotated work samples illustrating the assessment rubric. 

Read the Teachers’ Guide (also included in the download) before using these materials.  


Exemplar: Is it True? (Year 3)

This task asks students to decide whether an addition is correct or not and to explain their reasons. The content focus is on place value and grouping, re-grouping and renaming for multi-digit addition. The reasoning foci of this task are explaining and justifying statements; exploring and noticing relationships (analysing); and forming conjectures and generalising. The task is easy to adapt to other content and year levels.

Exemplar: Number Towers (Year 3)

Number Towers gives students an opportunity to develop and test conjectures and form generalisations by reasoning mathematically about numerical structures with addition. The task promotes careful analysis of a mathematical structure. Students need to experiment systematically, keep track of results, and choose cases carefully to test the rule. The task can be adapted for older students by using fractions or decimals.


Last updated December 18 2018.