Examining High-Level Math Tasks

Student Understanding of Mathematical Concepts

Part 1: High-Level Math Task Assignment Reminders

These steps should be completed before April 28th.


1. Find a low-demand math task/problem from a textbook/handout.
2. Modify that task/problem so it increases the cognitive demand.
3. Have your students to solve the task/problem before April 28th.
4. Complete the checklist and bring the problem, checklist, and 3 sample student responses to day 3 on April 28.

Part 2: Diagnosing Student Strengths and Needs

Part 2 will be conducted during the April 28th training.

Each teacher will distribute copies of his/her three sample students responses to your team of 4 -5 teachers. Your team will:


  • Diagnose individual student strengths and needs.
  • Examine what the response demonstrates what the student knows and can do.
  • Identify what the student has not demonstrated he knows and can do.


The teacher will be facilitating the group discussion based on the below questions. A recorder for the discussion will be identified and cannot be the teacher facilitator. The team members will examine the student work and provide responses to the following questions:

  • What did the student demonstrate that they knew?
  • What kinds of mathematical thinking took place (conjecture, proofs, revising, generalizing, etc.) ?
  • What misconceptions or wrong information did the students have?
  • What did the students not demonstrate?

Part 3: identifying Instructional Next Steps

Part 3 will be conducted during the April 28th training.

After diagnosing what the student knows and still needs to learn, the team will discuss where the teacher should take the student next instructionally. The teacher who is facilitating this part will need to record teacher responses. They will also determine if they need to re-teach any concept or skill to the whole or part of the class. The team will be answering the following questions at this time:


  • Based on the team's diagnosis of the students' performance, what do you do next with these students? What questions might you ask the students? What feedback will you give?
  • Based on the team's diagnosis of students' responses, does the teacher need to re-teach anything?