Rich Learning in Math Class

March 14, 2019

When I lead professional development, I focus on easy-to-implement changes first. Using openers and games are usually my first takeaways for teachers. When I’ve spent longer with them, I move to rich tasks.

I think of rich math tasks as the heartbeat of mathematical thinking, and essential to any classroom. They’re the best way, in my opinion, to offer real math—and the opportunity to thinking like mathematicians—to students.

They’re also tough to implement. They’re simple in a sense, but not easy, and they take practice. I’ve also learned that teachers often find them daunting at first. The good news is, with the right support, they can get comfortable using them in the classroom. Here’s a pre/post survey on comfort with rich tasks from a Math Teacher Circle series I just wrapped up.

A new PD video support for rich tasks

When I lead professional development, I focus on easy-to-implement changes first. Using openers and games are usually my first takeaways for teachers. When I’ve spent longer with them, I move to rich tasks.

I think of rich math tasks as the heartbeat of mathematical thinking, and essential to any classroom. They’re the best way, in my opinion, to offer real math—and the opportunity to thinking like mathematicians—to students.

They’re also tough to implement. They’re simple in a sense, but not easy, and they take practice. I’ve also learned that teachers often find them daunting at first. The good news is, with the right support, they can get comfortable using them in the classroom. Here’s a pre/post survey on comfort with rich tasks from a Math Teacher Circle series I just wrapped up.

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