The GUTS of ...

The ‘GUTS of’ was a series of FREE short, targeted 30 min virtual mathematics professional learning sessions.

Each session provided an outline of key concepts and skills, an interactive activity
and a downloadable PDF. Sessions were not recorded.

At this stage there are no plans to run a The GUTS of … series in 2024.


Algebra: The GUTS of … patterns and variables
Years: 5 – 7

Patterns are used to understand and organise the world around us. They enable us to understand relationships, make predictions, and develop reasoning.

This session will unpack the concept of variables, look at different ways of describing patterns and highlight a key misconception.

Number: The GUTS of … decimals and place value
Years: 4 – 7

One of the challenges when developing understanding of decimal place value is to represent the size of the smaller place values in correct proportion.

This session shows how Excel can be used to represent units, 10ths, 100ths and 1000ths in a way that makes it easy for students to interact with. One of the benefits of this approach is that decimal numbers are represented by length, making it easier to show that 0.41 is larger than 0.159 and why. It also leads nicely into decimal equivalence (0.47 is 4/10 + 7/100 or 47/100) and rounding.

The Excel template will be shared with participants.

Statistics: The GUTS of … choosing data displays
Years: 4 – 6

Statistics and data displays are used to share information, make comparisons, show trends and highlight possible connections. There are different types of data displays to choose from, so how do you decide which to use for a question of interest in a given context?

This session will look at the types of data displays commonly used in upper primary and a set of questions to ask yourself to assist in deciding which to use. In particular:

  • review data types and displays
  • pros and cons of different data displays
  • look at data story telling – What’s your story?


Statistics: The GUTS of … how to make a choice
Years: 7 – 10

When data is gathered across categories using an ordered scale, such as customer star ratings of restaurants, or using criteria and rubrics with a five-point scale in assessment, this is called ordinal categorical data and is often used to inform judgments and decisions.

This session uses examples to see how the key statistical ideas of shape of the distribution of data, centre, spread and outliers can be applied in these kinds of situations.

Algebra: The GUTS of … linear functions
Years: 7 – 10

Linear functions and their straight-line graphs model situations where a constant rate of change occurs and are used to solve a broad range of practical problems.

This session uses examples to show how the rules, tables, and graphs of linear functions are related to each other and how these, including linear equations, can be used to solve problems.

Number: The GUTS of … keeping things in proportion
Years: 7 – 10

Many practical problems in everyday life, including finance, measurement, science, and health are ratio and proportion problems. Solving proportion problems involves two simple arithmetic operations of multiplication and division, once the problem has been suitably formulated.

This session uses examples to show how to set up and solve proportion problems, covering set to set (part to part) and subset to set (part to whole) ratios and applying the unitary (divide and multiply) method using a simple template. In particular:

  • connect ratios, rates, percentages and proportions
  • use three approaches to finding proportions
  • apply these to a practical activity