I could see how many of the pictures, with the right guiding instructions for students could fit into very rich tasks. The ‘with instructions’ being the key to the richness. I don’t mean the specific ‘do this, go here, what does this equal’ kind of instructions. Rich tasks need guide-ers of thinking: Oh that path looks interesting, why don’t you look at it from that angle, what would you need to support that, how could we prove/see/make that happen.

I have tagged 101q as one of my resources, and I am looking for contributions. Right now I would love to post the TED talk link to the video I tweeted about yesterday on.ted.com/hrE9 – there were some great math questions: the speaker compared our existence to sand dunes and even posted a picture with an angle mark drawn over it. He talked about the pressure of the wind against the pull of gravity. What would my students be able to pull out of that? Could the find other situations where those forces exist in tandem and calculate?

The other problem arose through his discussion of the weight of a particle. He compared it to the weight of a gram. Could my students find a way to compare everyday things in completely different ways, to foster a new understanding of comparisons in different terminology? Anyway, my point is that for a task to be rich, we must envision, as teachers, how something as simple as a picture or diagram can lead to speculation and present it as a mystery (or puzzle, or paradox) to be examined, discussed and wondered over by our students. We bring these gifts to our students and ask them to open them. And then watch, to see what they make of our gift. (Do you think I could post a whole TED talk, or should I just use screenshots of the two frames I liked?)

I agree about your point that this should be a golden opportunity and yet I’m not sure how I’d feel about a centrally pushed CPD program in Maths from central government. I shudder to think what that might look like!

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