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To go back to the introduction to
this series of professional development activities,
Integrating rich tasks into the whole curriculum
The aim of this activity is to integrate some rich tasks into
curriculum planning. Although there are other possibilities, at
this stage we will look at two sources for these tasks:
- exisiting schemes of work
All the work we have done so far should feed into this
activity, which is designed to be the starting point for a longer
period of planning and development. The long-term aim is for you to
think about your teaching and how it can be enhanced, but to start
with you will need to select something that is realistic and
achievable. You can always extend what you do at a later
You will need the following resources:
First a reminder that we are not assuming that you are going
to change everything now, you are just making a start. For this
reason, we suggest you could begin by planning for a mathematical
topic that you will teach this term.
There are many different approaches to planning for the
integration of rich tasks, for example you could:
- Look at your current scheme of work and use the content mapping
documents to find problems that are a good fit with the particular
topic you are covering.
- Consider what using and applying skills you want your pupils to
develop and use the process mapping documents to identify
appropriate problems. You might use these as one-off problems but
they will also address subject content knowledge so why not use
them when you are covering that topic in your scheme of work?
- Identify a theme to work on for a longer period of time.
Examples of themes are:
- problems that employ several aspects of content knowledge (e.g.
factors and multiples)
- the development of problem-solving skills (the whole
- the development of particular mathematical thinking skills
(e.g. 'working systematically' or 'visualising')
- an application of mathematics (e.g. time and its
The mapping documents will help with the first two approaches
suggested above (content and process blocks). There are no specific
documents designed to support the third approach but the Maths finder
on NRICH can help. There is also a 'search NRICH'
option found at the top of every NRICH page.
Alternatively (or in addition) you
could identify potentially rich tasks you are already using and
extend them in the ways you did in Activities 1.1
next? - Task 2
Whichever approach you take, for
each problem you will need to spend time thinking about why it is
rich (for the problems from the NRICH mapping documents this has
already been done) and what you will need to do in the classroom to
support pupils in making the most of them (as in Activity 2.1
). As you try things out, you will refine ideas and will feed back
to your colleagues what worked well and why. Please do feed back to NRICH
This is no small task and that it is
why it is worth starting with something small and achievable rather
than trying to do everything all at once.