Digging Deeper...

Post date: Aug 8, 2016 12:03:10 PM

The notion of including Deep or Rich Maths tasks as part of the maths activities that we assign to our classes, is one with which I wholeheartedly agree. Not only do these types of tasks tasks promote higher order learning and the development of problem solving skills, but they require the children to think wider, bigger and deeper than they might have done when completing the traditional, textbook-type activities that they usually encounter in maths class. Sometimes, I have used these type of activities at the end of a unit of work, when other content had been covered as a way to see how the children might apply their knowledge and understanding to a new context. For me, our main aim should be to produce thinkers who are adaptable and flexible, willing to take on any type of new problem, thrown their way.

If you agree with me, but have found it difficult to source these deep and rich problems, then you might be interested in some of these:

NRICH: "the home of rich mathematics" from the University of Cambridge, UK great source of tasks and information with material for both teachers and students of all levels.

Youcubed: from Stanford University, US, also has a whole suite of tasks that can be filtered according to grade, concept and/or topic. It also hosts other information, videos, articles etc

Illuminations: From the NCETM, US. Another source of deep and rich activities, lessons, interactive and more for all classes and concepts

NZ Maths: From, (you guessed it!) New Zealand, the problem-solving section of this site has a huge suite of problems, divided initially by level, (level one is suitable for infants and even perhaps first class, level two for 1st to 3rd class approx, and so on) and then by strand. Each problem comes with a comprehensive lesson plan with suggestions for questions, further developments etc. There is also practical information about how to implement problem solving in your maths programme as well as some of the philosophical ideas behind problem solving.

Happy Numbers: For the younger classes in primary school , Happy Numbers has a fantastic suite of teaching ideas generally. For some rich puzzles that stimulate the children's ability to visualise math and relationships, check out their FREE downloads Spring Giveaway Part 1 and Spring Giveaway Part 2

Operation Maths: Published by Edco, if your school has adopted this new scheme for the coming school year, there is a whole selection of challenging tasks provided in the Early Finishers photocopiable masters in the teachers resource books for all classes, as well as containing a suite of suggestions for open-ended investigations at the back of the 3rd to 6th class pupils books entitled "Let's investigate!"

Open-ended investigations and other problems: this list, complied by Seán Delaney, MIE, has suggestions for 1st classes up, although the majority are for the more senior primary classes.

"If you want to build high, you must dig deep."

Mongolian Proverb