4 Simple Ways To Elevate Any Math Task

We all know using math tasks in our classrooms is important. They encourage multiple perspectives, improve perseverance by having students struggle productively, and make for rich discussions and learning.

But sometimes…quality math tasks can be hard to find. So here are some ways you can use what you find or have access to and elevate any math task! They’re quick and easy changes but sure to have a major impact.

For the purposes of this post, here is the task we’ll be using!

Leave Out the Questions

A super quick and easy change! Leave out the questions and have your students formulate them!

Here’s why I like doing this:

  • It gets students thinking about the information and making decisions on what can actually be answered by the given information
  • Puts the sense making in the hands of your students
  • Encourages multiple responses and entry points for all
  • The heavy lifting is put on the students

Give the Answers

I love this one! Pick a section of the task and give the answer! Then students are able to create multiple responses based on this information.

Here’s why I like doing this:

  • Encourages multiple perspectives and an entry point for all
  • Encourages estimation and making revisions
  • Allows for divergent thinking

Connect, Compare, Critique

This one is great because it really focuses on SMP 3: Justify and Critique. I also love that the math being put in front of students is correct, so the focus isn’t on deciding whether it’s accurate or not but the process.

Here’s why I like doing this:

  • Students are able to see different math representations
  • Encourages students to critique for efficiency, etc
  • Gives students the opportunity to give and receive feedback and make connections

Find the Error and Justify

Another one that focuses on SMP 3: Justify and Critique but this times students are finding the error and justifying their response with their own math!

Here’s why I like doing this:

  • gives students the opportunity to justify their answers
  • encourages a great math discussion, which in turn is great learning!
  • encourages great collaboration and conversations

Okay, that’s all for this week! Make sure to tune into my instagram every Monday for more math tips! Happy teaching friends!

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