Teaching with Challenging Tasks and learning through problem solving

Below are links to some Challenging Tasks and problem solving investigations in number and algebra. These challenging tasks can be used as stand-alone problem solving activities, or taught in conjunction with the SURF framework.

Task Name: Experiments with counting patterns

Links to SURF: Skip-counting by 2's, 3's, 4’s, 5’s and 10’s (Fast Facts)

Task Name: Uluru

Links to SURF: Various

Task Name: Tidalick

Links to SURF: Various

 

Task Name: Trams

Links to SURF: Various

 

Task Name: Pancakes, pancakes

Links to SURF: Various

Task Name: MCG

Links to SURF: Various

 

Task Name: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Links to SURF: Various

 

Task Name: Mathematical proofs in primary schools (four different tasks)

Links to SURF: Odd and even numbers (Understanding); Commutative property - multiplication (Understanding); Distributive property of multiplication (Understanding)

 

Task Name: Room on a broom investigation

Links to SURF: Proportional reasoning/ Ratios (Understanding)

 

Task Name: Clocks

Links to SURF: Various

 

Task Name: Moon Man

Links to SURF: Various

 

Three Challenging Tasks: Equivalent Towers, Skip-Counting Patterns and Addition Shortcuts

Links to SURF: Various

 

Task Name: Fish Out Of Water Investigation (click here for the shorter version)

Links to SURF: Exponential growth (Understanding)

 

Task Name: Mr Men Math

Links to SURF: Various

 

Task Name: Harry Potter-Inspired Mathematics

Links to SURF: Various

 

Task Name: The Doorbell Rang

Links to SURF: Division (Reading); Division and multiplication (Understanding)

 

Task Name: Doubling Donut Tree

Links to SURF: Doubles (Fast Facts); Exponential growth (Understanding)

This article also outlines a 7-step process for developing challenging tasks.

 

Task Name: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Links to SURF: Various

 

Task Name: The Smarties-Box challenge: Supporting systematic approaches to problem solving

Links to SURF: Estimation (Understanding), Multiplication (Understanding)

 

Task Name: Problem solving with The Sneetches

Links to SURF: Various 

 

Task Name: The Big (Not So) Friendly Giant

Links to SURF: Doubles (Fast Facts), Repeated Doubles (Understanding)

 

Task Name: Who sank the boat? (see second half of linked article)

Links to SURF: Equals sign, = (Reading); Greater than/ less than signs, < > (Reading).

 

Task Name: Baskets and Boundaries

Links to SURF: More than one way (Understanding); Skip-counting by 2's, 3's, 4's and 6's (Fast Facts).

 

Task Name: How many feet? How many fingers?

Links to SURF: Skip counting by 2's, 5's, 10's (Fast Facts); More than one way (Understanding)

 

Task Name: Donut Investigation

Links to SURF: Doubles (Fast Facts); Exponential Growth/ Repeated Doubling (Understanding)

 

Task Name: When a quarter is not quite a quarter

Links to SURF: Precision (Understanding); Estimation (Understanding)

 

Task Name: Hopping with Fiona the Frog

Links to SURF: Counting Forwards (Fast Facts); Counting Backwards (Fasts Facts); Skip-counting by 2's and 3's (Fast Facts)