Good Task or Task for Good?
Good tasks are out there.
The rice on a chess board task. The handshake task. The names of these tasks are familiar to most math teachers (if not, google them) as classic problems that have been leveraged to teach mathematical concepts to many a math student. Finding a good task used to be like finding a precious gem to add to your treasure chest of good tasks. But with the combination of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and the internet, there is now a common (somewhat) target and a means of distribution to make good tasks readily available for most content that a mathematics teacher will be called to teach (see below for some of my favorite sources of good tasks). But how to take these good tasks and adapt them to the context in which I teach, or to use structures to teach that can enhance engagement? In other words, how does one take a good task and make a task for good?
Adapting Tasks for Good
At the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Dr. Mary Q. Foote, and I were able to present on how to adapt tasks to make them more culturally relevant and/or how to enhance engagement with tasks. Below are the slides from our presentation.
Here is the reference information for the presentation:
Foote, M. Q., Koestler, C., Amidon, J., Harper, F., & Bartell, T. G. (April 2019). Good task or task for good?: Developing and adapting culturally & socially relevant math tasks. Session at annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. San Diego, CA