Just another site

Rich tasks, or being ‘less helpful’. *Updated 6/5

on March 11, 2012

Dan Meyer has a great point here:

We should be less helpful as teachers.  Our students are spoonfed pretty much everything they do in maths, and it’s made them overly dependent.   How many time have you been frustrated by a student who has just come straight up to ask how to do something, without even trying it first?

I thought it might be good to collate a bunch of tasks where we just give students a starting point, hopefully something that will intrigue them, and then just watch them go!

I’ve begun a collection of these tasks, and using the truly astonishingly splendiferous (yes, I made this word up) iBooks Author, I have put them together in a book.  I’ve got 7 tasks so far (with extensions) but here it is:

****UPDATED VERSION****  Thanks to all who have made suggestions – still a work in progress 🙂

Investigations / rich tasks v1.2

FYI:  473 sweets in the jar – will add that into next update (run out of energy…!)

There is also an iBooks version, but wordpress won’t support me sharing that type of file.  Once it’s finished, I’ll upload it onto the iBooks store for all of you lucky enough to have an iPad to teach with 🙂

The final version will have an index etc, so you can easily get to certain tasks, even in the pdf version.

I’m fairly imaginative, but I don’t think I can think of all the best ideas for this all on my own.   There are lots of you lovely clever teachers out there reading this that will have been thinking ‘I’ve got a great task for that!’, and I’d like to beg invite you to share them with me/us.

If you have a task to contribute, please pop it in a comment, or email me here: and I’ll do my best to add them all in.

I will regularly update the pdf version here, so you can keep up-to-date.  Once I think we’ve got enough, I’ll finalise it, and set up a page where you can download it (for free) and add it to the iBooks store (also free), and we can share it with the world 🙂


4 responses to “Rich tasks, or being ‘less helpful’. *Updated 6/5

  1. Dave Gale says:

    Hi. I love the look and premise of the book – really engaging and interesting tasks.

    I already do (and love) 1089. I’m definitely doing the paper folding challenge soon.

    You might like to look at Square of Area 10

    thanks very much !

  2. I shall add it shortly (once I’ve figured out the best way to phrase it all…) Will add the link above to it as ‘teacher notes’ 🙂

  3. Great Idea. I love using Nrich “Fence it” with all year groups. It covers the link between area + perimeter nicely and all groups approach the task in a different way. As an NQT it is hard to stay out of their discussions and leave them to structure their investigation!

  4. […] Rich tasks book – collected from lots of great tweachers, and put into a book here: Rich tasks, or being ‘less helpful’. *Updated 6/5 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: