This wiki is being produced by Lynne Bell,
who is a Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour
in Southland, New Zealand.
It will grow and change as time allows.

'Mad Maths Minute' is a basic facts programme written by Lynne for Year 1-3 students in New Zealand. It is also suitable for older students needing to take Stage 1-5 skills to mastery.

'Mad Maths Minute' is a mastery learning programme and is based on the New Zealand Number Framework, stages 1-5. (See table below) The wiki page supports the classroom implementation of the programme and fosters Home/School Partnership.

Teachers can obtain over 300 PDFs to implement the programme in their own classroom by emailing Lynne at lynne.nightowl@gmail.com.
Teachers can also obtain PDFs to make 'Knowledge Fans' for children to use at home to master other knowledge skills.
(e.g. number sequences, skip counting, before/after, subitising, fractions, place value, numeral recognition)
Teachers can also use the knowledge fans to assess these other Stage 1-4 knowledge skills quickly and easily at school.

Click here to see sample pdfs.

Students can use the 'Mad Maths Minute' page of the wiki to practise their current 'Mad Maths Minute' skill in preparation for their weekly progress check. Click on the dancing chicken to start.

The 'My Maths Stage' page allows students to learn the skills and knowledge appropriate to their age and rate of progress in early numeracy. Click on the hedgehog to start. These skills are also reinforced by the Mad Maths Minute 'Knowledge Fans'

If you are not sure what stage your child is working at please look at the chart below or contact your child's class teacher, who will be pleased to help you.

The 'Teacher Hot Spot' page is a collection of engaging and relevant sites for teachers to use at the start of numeracy lessons.

The 'Teacher Professional Development' page is a collection of links and resources to help teachers grow their skills as teachers of early numeracy.

Lynne hopes this wiki enables children to spend enjoyable time mastering basic maths skills both at home and at school. It is also intended to make life easier for busy teachers.


The following table describes the key features of each strategy stage of the New Zealand Number Framework.

Stage 0: Emergent
The student is unable to consistently count a given number of objects because they lack knowledge of counting sequences and/or one-to-one correspondence.
Stage 1: One-to-one counting
The student is able to count a set of objects or form sets of objects but cannot solve problems that involve joining and separating sets.
Stage 2: Counting from one on materials
The student is able to count a set of objects or form sets of objects to solve simple addition and subtraction problems.

The student solves problems by counting all the objects.
Stage 3: Counting from one by imaging
The student is able to visualise sets of objects to solve simple addition and subtraction problems.

The student solves problems by counting all the objects.
Stage 4: Advanced counting
The student uses counting on or counting back to solve simple addition or subtraction tasks.
Stage 5: Early additive part-whole
The student uses a limited range of mental strategies to estimate answers and solve addition or subtraction problems. These strategies involve deriving the answer from known basic facts (for example doubles, fives, making tens).
More information on the Number Framework and how you can help your child can be found at

Expectations for Number

The New Zealand Curriculum and the Mathematics Standards

The shaded parts of the diagram in the expectations indicate the expected levels of achievement for number in The New Zealand Curriculum, The Number Framework from the Numeracy Development Projects and the Mathematics Standards for students in years 1 to 8. The diagram also illustrates the close alignment between standards, stages and curriculum levels.
For example:
Expectations for after two years.
Expectations for after two years.

The expectation is that by the end of the year, or time at school for the first three years, students will be working within the standard, stage, or level indicated by the shaded part of the diagram. This does not mean that the student has mastered all objectives or parts, but it does mean they can successfully complete problems or tasks that demonstrate they “know and are able to do” work within the standard or stage or level.

These expectations apply to the three operational domains of The Number Framework ‐ Strategies: addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, and proportions and ratios. The standard or stage or level for each of the three domains for each student needs to be known. This information is used in making an overall teacher judgment in relation to the Mathematics Standards.

Learning Basic Facts

Training one’s mind to recall math facts when needed is a lot like learning to type. It comes in stages:

  1. Hunt and peck
    In typing, we understand that we have to push down the proper key to get the letter we want, but it may take us a few minutes to find that key. In math, this is the manipulative or counting-on-fingers stage.
  2. Slow but steady
    Now we have learned that each finger controls certain keys, but we have to think about whether “c” is up or down from the home row. In math, the student understands the concepts behind each math fact, but he still has to count by fives to calculate 5×7.
  3. Automatic response
    The professional typist looks at a word on the paper she is copying, and her fingers automatically hit the proper sequence of keys. Typing has become a reflex. A math student who has reached this stage can see 2×5 on a worksheet and instantly think “10.”

Of course, we do not progress evenly from one stage to the next. As a typist, I work primarily in stage 2, but simple words (the or and) come automatically, while I still hunt and peck the numbers and unusual forms of punctuation.

For our students, progress in learning the math facts will come the same, slow way. They may know instantly that 3×5 is the same as 15, while they still count on their fingers to solve 8×6.

What Is It Worth to You?

Also, notice that not all typists reach the automatic stage — and that is okay. I have a friend who can type over 100 words per minute, almost as fast as she can think. I can type around 30wpm, which is about as fast as I can think, too. My daughter is still at the hunt-and-peck stage, but she gets by.

Does my daughter need to work at typing faster? Yes, and she plays around with Mavis Beacon every once in awhile, but it is not super-high on her priority list. It is not nearly as important to her as writing her novels. Fortunately, the work on her novels will help gradually to increase her speed.

Would I like to type faster? Sure I would, but not enough to work at it. I will never be a medical transcriptionist, but I can type well enough for e-mail.

In the same way, not every student will reach the automatic stage with all the math facts. Most of us still struggle with remembering a few of them as adults, particularly the times-7 or times-8 facts. As long as we know how to calculate the ones we cannot recall, we will survive.

Finally, as with typing, there is only one way to reach the automatic stage: practice, practice, practice.The student must calculate the math facts over and over, so many times that the correct response becomes a reflex.

That is why I developed the Mad Maths Minute Programme!

nowledge skills at home. (e.g. number sequences)