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Selecting Mathematics Tasks Based on Level of Cognitive Demand

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Through hands-on examples, participants will learn how to select worthwhile mathematics tasks to

engage their students in different levels of thinking in doing mathematics.

Regardless of our teaching approach, including a variety of worthwhile mathematics tasks is important to support students’ learning of mathematics. This means that it is important for teachers to know the potential of a task so that it can be appropriately integrated into the goals for students’ learning. The goal of this session is to raise teachers’ awareness of how mathematical tasks differ with respect to their levels of cognitive demand and to highlight the importance of analyzing tasks in order to determine the level of thinking required to solve them. The intent is not to promote that one type of task is better than another, but to provide teachers with a meaningful and useful basis to identify and select tasks with an understanding of their potential in supporting students to learn and do mathematics.

We will present two sets of criteria; one for determining the level of cognitive demand of a mathematics task at the secondary level and one for determining the extent to which an assessment mathematics task is authentic. We will engage participants attending the session in hands-on examples of different mathematics tasks, including examples from current high school textbooks, to learn how to use the first set of criteria to select tasks to engage their students in different levels of thinking. We will also discuss the second set of criteria to develop awareness of the characteristics of authentic assessment mathematics tasks which are a unique subset of formative assessment tasks. Both sets of criteria are relevant to all grade levels, but our examples will be from grades 9 to 12.

engage their students in different levels of thinking in doing mathematics.

Regardless of our teaching approach, including a variety of worthwhile mathematics tasks is important to support students’ learning of mathematics. This means that it is important for teachers to know the potential of a task so that it can be appropriately integrated into the goals for students’ learning. The goal of this session is to raise teachers’ awareness of how mathematical tasks differ with respect to their levels of cognitive demand and to highlight the importance of analyzing tasks in order to determine the level of thinking required to solve them. The intent is not to promote that one type of task is better than another, but to provide teachers with a meaningful and useful basis to identify and select tasks with an understanding of their potential in supporting students to learn and do mathematics.

We will present two sets of criteria; one for determining the level of cognitive demand of a mathematics task at the secondary level and one for determining the extent to which an assessment mathematics task is authentic. We will engage participants attending the session in hands-on examples of different mathematics tasks, including examples from current high school textbooks, to learn how to use the first set of criteria to select tasks to engage their students in different levels of thinking. We will also discuss the second set of criteria to develop awareness of the characteristics of authentic assessment mathematics tasks which are a unique subset of formative assessment tasks. Both sets of criteria are relevant to all grade levels, but our examples will be from grades 9 to 12.

Friday October 19, 2018 12:45pm - 1:45pm

Fort McMurray - Delta

Fort McMurray - Delta