Integrating Rich Tasks - Activity 2.1

Age 5 to 11
Article by Jennifer Piggott

Published 2011

To go back to the introduction to this series of professional development activities, click here

What do teachers do to support learners engaging with rich tasks?

This pair of tasks build particularly on Activities 1.1, 1.3 and 1.4 . The aim is to look at a problem and think about what we can do to help make it rich. This is because, regardless of a problem's potential, the way it is used affects its richness.

You will need the following resources:

Rich task cards: RichTaskCards.doc
Rich task sheet - what teachers can do: RichTaskTeachers.doc
What teachers do - master template sheet: WhatTeachersDoMaster.doc
Suggested NRICH problem: Magic Vs
Zipped folder* containing sample "What teachers do" sheet for Magic Vs and associated video-clips:

*You will need to save the zipped folder to your computer, then right-click on the zip folder and "extract" the files. Inside the folder "MagicVs" is a Word document. The Word document contains links to the video-clips.

Task 1
Stick each of the rich task cards (RichTaskCards.doc ) on a separate A3 sheet. As a group, move around the sheets and add ideas for what you could do as teachers to help support each aspect of a rich task. This will be very general at this stage. If you need help some ideas are given on the what teachers can do sheet (RichTaskTeachers.doc ). These ideas will become more specific when applied to a particular problem.

Task 2
Work on the NRICH problem Magic Vs so you feel confident that you know it well.
  • Fill in the column of the master sheet (WhatTeachersDoMaster.doc ) labelled 'What pupils could do'.
  • Now fill in the column 'What teachers might do'. As you do this, think about the sorts of things you might do in the lesson to encourage pupils to tackle the problem and behave in the ways you have suggested in the middle column.
The WhatTeachersDoMagicVs.doc, in, is what we produced when we tried this at NRICH.

Return to the introduction
Go back to Activity 1.5
Move on to Activity 2.2