Orchard Park EdTechTeam Custom Summit

Redefining Mathematics Pedagogy with Contextual Tasks & Technology

October 2017

Thank you for joining me for some math geekery at the Orchard Park EdTechTeam Custom Summit! Please feel free to utilize the resources related to each day below for your future use. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out in the future!

Session #1: Making Math Contextual, Visual and Concrete

Before jumping into the task, we discussed the two groups of students I (unintentionally) created in my class and the possible commonalities between students in both groups.

We also spent some time discussing the problem with rushing to the algorithm and used the Keurig Instant Coffee Maker commercial as a prime example of the rush to the algorithm.

The task explored during this session was the Stacking Paper 3 Act Math Task:

Stacking Paper [3 Act Math Task]

How many packages of paper will it take to reach the ceiling?


Stacking Paper - 3 Act Math Task - Real World Math
Summary & Resources

Keep in mind that you might consider using Google Sites as an option to deliver this task:

Access Google Site

You can also read a blog post about creating interactive tasks with Google Sites here:

I shared a Google Doc with a couple additional options as well such as Desmos Custom Activity Builder, Knowledgehook Gameshow, Recap! and GoFormative.

Session #2: Sparking Curiosity to Promote Inquiry and Productive Struggle

During the second session of the morning, we discussed more strategies to spark curiosity in order to promote inquiry and productive struggle.

The task we focused on during this session was the Counting Candies 3 Act Math Task:

Counting Candies [3 Act Math Task]

How many candies should each person get?


Counting Candies - Working With Fractions to Find Unknowns
Summary & Resources

After introducing the task, we also added a Desmos Custom Activity to the mix:

[DESMOS] Counting Candies 3 Act Math Task


Counting Candy Desmos Activity Builder Activity

This activity supports the Counting Candies 3 Act Math Task in order to introduce the idea of systems of equations.

Access this activity in the following ways:

Session #3: Gamifying Formative Assessment With Knowledgehook Gameshow

In this session, we explored the Four Stages of Learning (or Four Stages of Mastery), as I like to call them.

I then shared my vision for mathematics education that I have been refining for the past five years. Here is what it looks like currently:

Mathematics Vision - A Math Lesson in 4-Parts - Contextual, Visual and Concrete

We then jumped into a 3 act math task called “Walk Out“:

Walk Out [3 Act Math Task]

What does the distance-time graph look like?


Walk Out 3 Act Math Task - Distance Time Graphs
Summary & Resources

After introducing the initial video and giving some time for you to notice and wonder, we soon added in a digital tool called Knowledgehook Gameshow to make the process interactive. As I mentioned in the session, I would spend time without any digital tool when introducing 3 act math tasks in your classroom to build a community of mathematical thinkers and discourse.


I hope you enjoyed the professional learning today at Pulaski EdTechTeam Custom Summit as much as I did! Looking forward to learning with you all again sometime in the future!