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Check Your Work – Strategies for studying reasonableness in mathematics – Ages 9+

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Paul Swan has worked as a primary and secondary school teacher and now works as a teacher educator at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia. He was awarded his PhD for research on children’s computation choices and methods.
He has a passion for mathematics and is always looking for ways to make mathematics interesting. He writes mathematics books in his spare time, as well as presenting conference workshops, teacher professional development seminars and ‘mathemagic’ shows across Australia.
As a father of four boys—three still at school—he recognises the challenges faced by teachers trying to motivate children to learn mathematics. As a result, he tries to make his publications stimulating and inviting for children, while at the same time challenging them to think.


  • activities to promote checking the reasonableness of a calculation
  • supports the learning of basic number properties
  • activities range from basic to intermediate and advanced levels of understanding
  • errors involving calculators addressed
  • activities designed to arouse curiosity and extend thinking
  • reader-friendly teachers notes to support each checking strategy
  • clear and detailed explanations and answers
  • linked to outcome statements

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