Thursday, March 20, 2014

Workshop-Rich Tasks (with links)

One of the key components of a successful math workshop is finding rich tasks for the students to dig into during work time.  Having our students engaged in deep math needs to be the focal point of our mind-on math workshop.

During our  Minds on Mathematics Book Study last summer  Chapter 3: Tasks focused on the challenging tasks we use with our students during work time.  If you are a regular follower of my blog you know that we use  Carnegie Learning as our math curriculum, for those of you who are new feel free to check out the link to see what Carnegie is about, and you can click the following link to download a sample of the Student Text.  During workshop Work Time students work in collaborative groups solving rich real-world problems.  Students are required to both construct and interpret mathematical models and explain their reasoning.  While solving problems they make connections between different mathematical concepts.  I feel extremely lucky that I have Carnegie as my curriculum.  It marries perfectly with the workshop model of delivery.

Our student text is divided into two volumes for the year.

I realize that many of you do not have a strong common core aligned curriculum.  I have shared some of my favorite go to resources for rich problems to use in your classroom.  I have only shared free resources below.  Some of these you will have to dig around a bit to find links to tasks you can use in your classroom.

Challenging Tasks
No matter what source you use to find your rich tasks, ask yourself the following questions to make sure your tasks have high cognitive demand.  Does the problem offer all of the following?

  • multiple entry points
  • various possible approaches
  • a need for higher-order thinking
  • opportunities to synthesize, justify, and explain
I am heading off to Wisconsin Dells for a few days of waterparking with the family.  Please feel free to add your favorite FREE resources for rich tasks in the comments and I will add them to my list.


  1. Although it's a subscription service, Mathalicious offers several free lessons.

  2. Great list of resources! Thanks for sharing! I sometimes find good things on

  3. I also use Carnegie. I'm interested to know how you weave it through your workshop. I LOVE Carnegie because the tasks are challenging and I think it helps Ss find deeper understanding and figure out the "why" behind the math.

  4. Thank you for sharing these resources! I will be passing them along to my fellow math teachers.


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