I love using math tasks in the classroom and I think you will too! Math Tasks may be new to you or you may be an expert, but I wanted to share some of the great benefits of using math tasks in the classroom. There are so many things I want to share about math tasks, so I am making this a math blog series. Stay tuned for even more ideas!
What are Math Tasks?
A math task is a problem(s) that allow students to explore different math concepts or ideas. They move beyond the basic textbook lesson and encourage students to collaborate and communicate about math ideas.
4 Benefits of Using Math Tasks
I will be referring to some of the 8 Math Teaching Practices because they align completely with math tasks from the National Council of Teachers for Mathematics(NCTM).
Promotes Reasoning and Problem Solving
Math tasks allow for multiple student levels. They are great for encouraging multiple solution strategies. I love that students are able to share their strategies with their peers. Math tasks call for students to make sense of a problem and promotes productive struggle in solving. I’m currently reading Taking Action: Implementing Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices. It is perfect for learning about the Math Teaching practices and math tasks.
Hands On and Engaging
Students are encouraged to use different manipulatives and tools to help them solve problems. Students get a choice in the way they solve the problem. For example, if you are doing a task on adding, more than likely you have students at all different levels. Your struggling students may decide to use manipulatives to solve and your more advanced students may decide to draw models and equations.
Encourages Math Discourse
Students gain an understanding of math ideas presented by their peers. By taking time to allow student to discuss their strategies, students are able to compare approaches and analyze problems.
High Level Questioning
During a math task it is important to pose purposeful questions. These questions should be to assess learning or advance the learning. Questioning should happening throughout the entire math tasks process.
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