Tag Archives: math tasks

Group tasks make thinking visible. Try it!

Task link: Number Transformer Challenge. Linear relations, rate of change.

I used this task with my Grade 9 students to introduce the linear relations (rate of change) unit. Colleagues seem to ask for direct instructions about how to build tasks into the classroom so this post gives an example of how I used this particular task.

  1. My students enter the classroom and I visibly randomize them into groups of three. Through experience I have found groups of three to be the ideal. To randomize the students I use a deck of cards or the iPad app Be Seated.
  2. The groups find a vertical surface to write upon (white boards, chalk boards, windows, glass on the doors. Anything that dry erase markers will erase from).  Each group will have one white board marker.
  3. In this task I provided each group with one handout. (often I read the task aloud only once). The groups will work on the task. I will have the groups switch the job of the “recorder” once in a while by calling out, “switch the pen.”
  4. This task I witnessed most groups inductively reason the linear equation from a table of values (students seem to naturally construct a table of values). Some members of the groups took over the task but that was ok. At the end of the task the examples on the board were produced by the students.

Day 2/3 Tutorial with graphs, table of values and equations.

I carried these student produced examples over the next two classes to build connections between data points, rates of change, constants and graphs.

  1. I used DESMOS graphing calculator for students to plot the points from the table of values produced on day one (this was accomplished in randomized groups, usually each group had one person with a device to use with DESMOS).
  2. I was apparent that the side lesson I needed to provide was guidance related to the algebra required for building a table of values from a linear equation.

Great task. Thanks youcubed.org (youcubed.org provides a fantastic assortment of tasks)