Rich Tasks, Activities, and Open Questions

Professional Reading on Creating and Identifying Rich Tasks, Activities, and Open Questions

Selected Websites with Rich Tasks, Activities, and Open Questions

Click on the image to take you to the website. A brief synoposis of each site is provided.

Which One Does't Belong is a website dedicated to providing thought-provoking puzzles for math teachers and students alike. There are no answers provided as there are many different, correct ways of choosing which one doesn't belong.

Estimation 180: Building Number Sense, One Day at a Time.

"​Each day of the school year I present my students with an estimation challenge. I love helping students improve both their number sense and problem solving skills. I'd like to share the estimation challenges with you and your students."

Math Talks provides questions and supports for teachers in Gr. 6-8 classrooms to establish productive math talks rountines in their classrooms.

"Ultimately the goal is to get students to fight. Okay I guess I should say justify their position. Allow students to persuade one another allows for natural dialog. It won't be too long until "because I said so" will be disregarded by all classmates." Ultimately - do you agree or disagree?

Which would you rather have? At Would You Rather math, two choices or scenarios are presented. What you have to do is make your choice and justify your reasoning using mathematics.

WYR Sample Sheet: Created by Andrew Stadel, this is a great sheet to accompany the work that students do with Would You Rather…? tasks

The NRICH Project aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of all learners. To support this aim, members of the NRICH team work in a wide range of capacities, including providing professional development for teachers wishing to embed rich mathematical tasks into everyday classroom practice. NRICH aims to:

  • Enrich the experience of the mathematics curriculum for all learners
  • Offer challenging and engaging activities
  • Develop mathematical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Show rich mathematics in meaningful contexts

The CLIPS supports offers a range of interactive activities, games, quizzes and learning tools with feedback.


Dr. Marian Small: Author and International Professional Development Consultant for Improved Mathematics Education.

This link will bring you to Dr. Small's question of the week.

Open Middle problems require a higher depth of knowledge than most problems that assess procedural and conceptual understanding .

  • They have a “closed beginning” meaning that they all start with the same initial problem.
  • They have a “closed end” meaning that they all end with the same answer.
  • They have an “open middle” meaning that there are multiple ways to approach and ultimately solve the problem.

YouCubed founder Jo Boaler: "Our main goal is to inspire, educate and empower teachers of mathematics, transforming the latest research on math learning into accessible and practical forms."

Visual Patterns allows you to select one of many patterns to see a larger image and the answer to step 43.

What is the equation?

The mathies.ca website houses Ontario Ministry of Education developed resources to support mathematics learning from Kindergarten to Grade 12, including:

  • Games
  • Learning Tools
  • Activities
  • Additional Supports
  • Home Supports

Graphing Stories - How this works:

  1. Pass this handout to your students.
  2. Play any of these videos.
  3. Have them graph the story.

The Problems of the Month found at Inside Mathematics are non-routine math problems designed to be used schoolwide to promote a problem-solving theme at your school. Each problem is divided into five levels of difficulty, Level A (primary) through Level E (high school), to allow access and scaffolding for students into different aspects of the problem and to stretch students to go deeper into mathematical complexity.



Daily Overview Math uses overview photographs of real world places, for students to reason and wonder about mathematically.

The Positive Engagement Project's Mission: To get students positively engaged in active learning, while getting ourselves and others positively engaged with schools and communities.

Math Catcher introduces mathematics and science to Aboriginal students through the use of First Nations imagery and storytelling. The storytelling, pictures, models, and hands-on activities encourage young people to enjoy math and help dispel myths that math is boring and abstract.

Illuminations provides standards-based resources and materials that illuminate the vision of NCTM for school mathematics and improve the teaching and learning of mathematics for all students.

A Guide for Navigating the illuminations.nctm.org Web Site.

This site, G Flecthy, has a variety of resources including 3-Act Lessons as well as Progression Videos. These videos walk through the mathematical progression of student learning within a particular concept. Please keep in mind that these are related to the Common Core standards.

Dan Meyer:

Today's math curriculum is teaching students to expect — and excel at — paint-by-numbers classwork, robbing kids of a skill more important than solving problems: formulating them. Dan Meyer shows classroom-tested math exercises that prompt students to stop and think.

Jo Boaler:

Opening Up Math

"Math is too much answer time and not enough learning time."