Time-worthy Tasks

100+ tasks, investigations, warmups, games and learning sequences that are worth your students' time.

It is a brave thing to go searching the internet for a ‘rich’ mathematical task. I am yet to meet a teacher who has time enough to trawl through 52 'matches' of mostly repetitive, procedural exercises in the hope of extracting that one task that is likely to challenge and engage their students. The main thing that teachers ask me for during professional learning are pointers to ‘rich’ mathematical tasks. The term ‘rich’ get used a lot when discussing tasks so here is a research-informed definition that you can use to evaluate the 100+ tasks featured on this page. A task’s ‘richness’ can be recognised when it is well- constructed (Stephens, 2011) strategically presented (Henningsen & Stein, 1997; Goos, 2004) and is met with positive dispositions from the humans that it is designed for (Way et al, 2011). As you explore the tasks, I encourage you to evaluate their potential to engage your students and significantly build their understanding of important ideas, as evidenced by measurable academic growth. Additionally, consider the opportunities the task presents to build your students’ proficiency to reason, problem-solve, communicate and think like mathematicians.


100+ tasks, investigations, warmups and lesson sequences that are worth your students' time.

It is a brave thing to go searching the internet for a ‘rich’ mathematical task. I am yet to meet a teacher who has time enough to trawl through 52 'matches' of mostly repetitive, procedural exercises in the hope of extracting that one task that is likely to challenge and engage their students. The main thing that teachers ask me for during professional learning are pointers to ‘rich’ mathematical tasks. The term ‘rich’ get used a lot when discussing tasks so here is a research-informed definition that you can use to evaluate the 100+ tasks featured on this page. A task’s ‘richness’ can be recognised when it is well- constructed (Stephens, 2011) strategically presented (Henningsen & Stein, 1997; Goos, 2004) and is met with positive dispositions from the humans that it is designed for (Way et al, 2011). As you explore the tasks, I encourage you to evaluate their potential to engage your students and significantly build their understanding of important ideas, as evidenced by measurable academic growth. Additionally, consider the opportunities the task presents to build your students’ proficiency to reason, problem-solve, communicate and think like mathematicians.

“In the mathematics classroom, it is through tasks, more than in any other way, that opportunities to learn are made available to the students."
(Anthony & Walshaw, 2009)

References

Anthony, G., & Walshaw, M. (2009). Characteristics of effective teaching of mathematics: A view from the West. Journal of Mathematics Education, 2(2), 147-164.
Goos, M. (2004). Learning mathematics in a classroom community of inquiry. Journal for research in mathematics education, 258-291.
Henningsen, M., & Stein, M. (1997). Mathematical tasks and student cognition: Classroom-based factors that support and inhibit high-level mathematical thinking and reasoning. Journal For Research In Mathematics Education, 28(5), 524. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/749690
Stephens, M. (2011). Engagement in mathematics: Defining the challenge and promoting good practices. The Victorian Literacy And Numeracy Secretariat - Spotlight: Research Into Practice, Research Monograph 9.
Way, J., Anderson, J., Martin, A., & Bobis, J. (2011). A model for mathematics instruction to enhance student motivation and engagement. In Motivation and disposition: Pathways to learning mathematics. (pp. 31-42).