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Reporting in plain language in mathematics and statistics
Mathematics and statistics
Written reporting in plain language in mathematics and statistics is likely to include information about the student’s ability to solve number problems, and in a nonnumber related aspect of mathematics (geometry, measurement or statistics), concisely. Strong emphasis is placed on students’ ability to solve problems and model situations in a range of meaningful contexts by selecting and applying appropriate knowledge, skills, and strategies.
Reporting in plain language can be challenging for teachers as we use complex education language routinely. In addition, as students progress through school, the mathematics and statistics knowledge and the tasks with which they engage become more complex.
The following table provides examples of ‘education language’, the language teachers use routinely, and then an example of how this might be rephrased as plain language. Teachers gather a range of information when forming an overall teacher judgment and there are many resources, such as the New Zealand Curriculum, Mathematics Standards and the Number Framework, that provide characteristics of the stages students move through. The examples follow a broad progression from after one year at school until after year eight. In mathematics, a written report comment is likely to cover:
 the student’s ability to solve number problems and their ability in a nonnumber related aspect of mathematics (geometry, measurement or statistics), concisely.
Written Report Comments – Mathematics and statistics  
Level  Education language  Rephrased in plain language 
After one year at school  Compares volume of objects directly
Applies countingall strategies


Investigates questions using the statistical inquiry cycle
Creates and continues sequential patterns  Jo:


After two years at school  Describes the likelihood of outcomes involving chance
Uses simple grouping strategies to combine and partition numbers 

Uses equal sharing to find fractions of sets, and measure duration  Nico:


After three years at school
 Applies basic addition fact and knowledge of place value to combining and partitioning numbers
Measures using linear scales 

Uses knowledge to think mathematically when modelling situations
Continues spatial and number patterns 


By the end of Year Four  Applies knowledge of place value to combine or partition whole numbers
Gathers and displays category and simple whole number data  Su Wei:
Her next step is to practise using Excel on the computer for her graph work. 
Special Needs Student  Applies basic addition and subtraction facts to combine or partition numbers, or find fractions of sets
 Jonnie:

By the end of Year Five  Applies multiplicative strategies, and measures time 

Describes locations and gives directions using grid references and points of the compass
Applies simple multiplicative strategies to combine or partition whole numbers  Bella:


By the end of Year Six  Performs mixed operations using addition and subtraction as inverse operations
Gathers or accesses multivariate category and wholenumber data  Oliver

Applies additive strategies to decimals
Creates or identifies nets for rectangular prisms and other simple solids 


By the end of Year Seven
 Applies additive and multiplicative strategies flexibly to decimals and integers 

Identifies patterns and displays it in different ways
Applies additive and multiplicative strategies flexibly  Jesse


By the end of Year Eight  Applies additive strategies flexibly to decimals and integers
Using the statistical inquiry cycle, sorts and displays data identifying patterns, variations and relationships 

Finds and represents relationships in spatial and number patterns using recursive rules for nonlinear relationships
Identifies and describes the features of shapes or patterns than change or do not change under transformation 
