Newman's Error Analysis

Also known as: Problem solving

  • The theory behind Newman's Error Analysis states that there are five stages that a student typically goes through to solve a word problem in mathematics.
  • The student follows a series of cues framed as questions (shown in the template) to probe their thinking as they solve a word problem.
  • The five components to support student understanding when solving word problems are: 
      1. Reading and decoding
      2. Comprehending
      3. Transforming
      4. Processing
      5. Encoding.
  • This template can support teachers to identify students' misunderstanding when solving word problems.


ICT templates

Learning activity templates

Office 365

Google G Suite


Make sure you are logged into your Microsoft account or Google account before accessing these templates. For more support refer to Getting started with technology

How to use with ICT

Teachers can use one-on-one with students to record their thinking as they work towards solving word problems.

Students can record their thinking to solve a word problem by using the five prompts provided on the template.


Single Computer

Teachers can demonstrate on a single use computer the five basic steps a student must typically work though to solve written problems,

Personalised learning

Disability, Learning and Support

When planning to use technology in the classroom it is important to consider the diversity of your learners. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to guide the design of learning environments that are accessible and effective for all. For UDL guidelines, information and additional materials, visit the CAST website.

Many students require technology as an adjustment to support their access to learning. Adjustments (NESA) are actions taken that enable a student with disability and additional learning needs to access syllabus outcomes and content on the same basis as their peers. Enrol in the Personalised learning with technology online course to help you make more informed decisions regarding technology.


For a range of simple, how-to videos visit the Assistive Technology page on the Disability, Learning and Support website. Resources are organised into four sections; Literacy and Learning, Vision, Hearing, Physical and Motor Skills.


High potential and gifted learning and support

When planning to use technology in the classroom it is important to consider the full range of abilities of all learners. High potential and gifted learners may require additional adjustments and deliberate talent development.  These strategies include differentiation, grouping, enrichment and advanced learning pathways so students can be engaged, grow and achieve their personal best.


Assessing and identifying high potential and gifted learners will help teachers decide which students may benefit from extension and additional challenge. Effective strategies and contributors to achievement for high potential and gifted learners helps teachers to identify and target areas for growth and improvement. School leaders can access the Evaluation and Planning Tool to support strategic improvement planning.


Recognising the diversity of high potential and gifted students represented in classrooms across 4 domains of potential can be explored further by accessing illustrations of practice.


For further support and advice about how to tailor learning for high potential and gifted students from all backgrounds, visit the High Potential and Gifted Education web section, High Potential and Gifted Education Policy or attend one of the professional learning courses on offer.

Learn more about the strategy

Professional learning

Find out more resources
Title Link Description
PAT Teaching Resources Centre PAT Teaching Resources Centre Conducting the error analysis interview and diagnosing error types.
AITSL Tools and Resources Working with mathematical word problems Illustration of practice - a proficient teacher utilises Newman's Error Analysis to help her students work through word problems.

General capabilities