Rich Math Tasks
Rich math tasks are great tools to engage students in the CCSS Standards of Mathematical Practice while building content knowledge. They're also a wonderful formative assessment tool.
What do we mean by rich mathematics tasks? You'll find many definitions with varying characteristics. Here are some:
- Accessible to all learners ("low floor, high ceiling")
- Real life task or application
- Multiple approaches and representations
- Collaboration and discussion
- Engagement, curiosity, and creativity
- Opportunities for extension
-adapted from Heinemann at http://www.heinemann.com/blog/6-characteristics-rich-math-tasks/
There are a number of resources available as sources of great, engaging mathematics tasks.
Michigan-developed MAISA CCSSI Units (Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators - Common Core State Standards Initiative)
Grades: kindergarten through high school
The MAISA project has taken the CCSS-M and CCSS-ELA standards and placed them in units of study for all grades K-11. The mathematics units include a unit plan, a detailed model lesson from the unit, one or more formative assessment tasks, and a wealth of other resources. The units are made available through MAISA's Atlas curriculum management software's public site.
Mathematics Assessment Project - from MARS (Mathematics Assessment Resources Service)
Grades: Mainly 6-8 and high school
NRICH - Enriching Mathematics - from the University of Cambridge
Grades: kindergarten through high school; Select the "Teachers" menu option and choose from Early Years, Primary, or Secondary.
Graphing Stories: Fifteen seconds at a time A collection of short video clips illustrating various types of change for students to graph. Not a "rich task" in itself, but the site takes the "heavy lifting" of providing suitable edited video clips for teachers to use as part of a task.
Grades: Middle school and high school
National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics - NCSM has published a new version of its "Great Tasks for Mathematics" (original set of problems released in the 1990s). Two books.
Grades: K-5 ("NCSM Great Tasks for Mathematics K-5") and 6-12 ("NCSM Great Tasks for Mathematics 6-12")
Dan Meyer's Three-Act Math Tasks - For background on using Three-Act Mathematical Stories, read Dan's blog here.
3-Act Math Problems - Inspired by Dan Meyer. An innovative way of approaching and enriching mathematics problems; many sites are noted in this LiveBinder.
Grades: Mainly middle school and high school.
COMING IN SUMMER 2017 - Illustrative Mathematics to release a newly designed problem-based middle grades math curriculum and open educational resources.
Math Landing: Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers. Grades: K-5. Check out the Classroom Collections. Grouped by Standard of Mathematical Practice.
Resources to help plan for and implement these great math tasks for teaching and learning:
Thinking Through a Lesson Protocol (TTLP)
Be sure to read the original TTLP article published by NCTM:
“Thinking Through a Lesson Protocol: Successfully Implementing High-Level Tasks.” Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 14 (October 2008): 132-138.
For a number of "math in real life" resources (not necessarily rich tasks), visit Math in Daily Life from Annenberg (Learner.org)