What is a Mathematical Task



What is this site?
  • This site is meant to be a one-stop shop for vetted strong mathematical tasks.  I invite anyone who feels they have a task to submit it via email. Please submit your name, your task, which CCSS standards it relates to and a short summary of the task.
  • A Mathematical Task is an engaging activity that allows students to use the math skills they have learned or are learning in an application sense.  The common error I tend to see if the lack of actual real-world application.  Often times, what I see as good task may not be the same as someone else due to geographic, cultural differences.
    • What would interest my students? 
    • What are my students engaged by?
    • In my part of the country, what things happen that my students can relate to? 
     
  • I am not sure who coined the term Mathematical Task but Dan Meyer made it famous.  You will see some of his stuff on here along with others who have joined the bandwagon.  Why not submit yours to join the party?
  • Feel free to use/borrow/edit any of these to create your own task.   That is all I ask is to cite all sources indicated on the task.  Basically, we need to give credit where it is due.
How is a Mathematical Task used?
  • It can be used anytime.  I often use the task as an intro, acknowledging students will get "stuck" and need assistance.  That assistance typically comes in the form of skills-based instruction on a topic they do not know (please don't take skills-based as a bad thing.  It is often hands-on, group led learning but the goal is learning a skill). 
  • Students are always working in groups.  How you group them is up to you.  They can be heterogeneous or homogenous. That is, like ability or differentiated.
  • The goal is getting students through stage 1 of thinking.  Stage 1 is the organization of the problem-solving approach.  How best can I find a solution?  In my mind, most things after that are a bonus.  Did they get a quality solution?  I don't really care, I would like to see that and push students to get there but in all reality, I WANT TO SEE THEM THINK!  
  • All the Mathematical Tasks shown should be DOK 3.  Some may approach a DOK 4 but unless it is a long-term project infusing multiple subject areas (hoping this site gets there) that will not happen.
  • Are Mathematical Tasks Enrichment?  Yes and no?  If we only use them as enrichment then our lower level students are never exposed to thinking beyond DOK 2 or levels that they will actually use in life.  Can they be...of course.