share this page

Rich Tasks

Rich open mathematical tasks create deeper learning opportunities for students and increase their potential for learning. Craig Barton says that “you cannot beat a good rich task! For me, a rich task is one that both stimulates and challenges students of all ages and abilities”. Jo Boaler suggests the following principles for creating open mathematical tasks:

  • Open up the task so that there are multiple methods, pathways and representations.
  • Include inquiry opportunities.
  • Ask the problem before teaching the method.
  • Add a visual component and ask students how they see the mathematics.
  • Extend the task to make it lower floor and higher ceiling.
  • Ask students to convince and reason; be sceptical.

Have you an activity that you have found useful when teaching rearranging equations? Do you offer any open rich tasks/problems in your classes on rearranging equations? Would you be willing to share these resources with others on this website? Please email us: 


1. Craig Barton. How I Wish I'd Taught Maths: Lessons learned from research, conversations with experts, and 12 years of mistakes.

2. Jo Boaler and Carol Dweck. Mathematical Mindsets : Unleashing Students' Potential Through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and Innovative Teaching.