Whittier EdTechTeam Custom Summit


Redefining Mathematics Pedagogy with Contextual Tasks & Technology

Tuesday August 1st, 2017

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

Session #1: Sparking Curiosity to Promote Inquiry and Productive Struggle

During the first 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

Working With Fractions To Find Unknown Values In this task, students see a bunch of candies poured on the table. How many candies should each of four people receive if you know how many there are in two thirds of the whole? Act 1: Introduce the Problem https://youtu.be/S74d7yFoPG4 What's the question? In this case, we're looking at: How many candies should you receive if ...


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 #2: 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

This Task Is Now in a Multi-Touch Book! Grab It! Learn more about what's inside the multi-touch book here. Or, consider accessing these tasks in an interactive way via Google Sites. Real World Math in Proportional Reasoning and Linear Relations Here's a new Real World / 3 Act Math Task that is related to proportional reasoning and a direct variation linear relation with ...


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:

Creating Interactive Math Tasks With Google Sites


Interactive Math Tasks With Google Apps

Recently, I wrote a post summarizing the Stacking Paper Tasks multi-touch book for iBooks. If you had a chance to download the multi-touch book, you'll notice that it is interactive and collaborative leveraging embedded padlet walls for students to share out their work. However, I've had some folks on Twitter asking how they could do something like this without an iPad: @MathletePearce Any sug...


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

Session #3: Creating Interactive Math Learning Journeys

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

Introducing Distance-Time Graphs & Graphing Stories This 3 act math task was created as a simple, yet powerful way to introduce distance-time graphs and other various graphs of linear and non-linear relationships between two variables. In particular, I'm looking to address the following specific expectations from the grade 9 math courses in Ontario: Grade 9 Applied LR4.02 & Grade 9 Acade...


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.

Check Out @Knowledgehook’s FREE Gameshow Assessment Tool!


Knowledgehook Gameshow Free Online Assessment Tool Gamified

A Free Gamified Clicker Tool With Ready-Made Content! Knowledgehook’s Gameshow Beta Tool is a FREE Gamified Online Assessment Tool that does more than what Google Forms, Socrative and Kahoot can do by pushing the bar up with level-up experience (XP) points as well as FREE content teachers can use to run ready-made gameshows or customize their own! While this is just the beta version, I am impr...


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We also explored how we can use Explain Everything and Desmos to make Interactive Math Learning Journeys:

Explain Everything Math Learning Journey


Explain Everything Math Learning Journey - Exploring Geometry and Angles

Exploring Geometry By Discovering Angle Relationships *Wed Apr 8, 2015* - The Explain Everything Project File has been updated to correct an error. The Geometry portion of the grade 9 applied course is one that I have always struggled to make meaningful for my students. The curriculum has students exploring angle theorems, but really never goes deep enough for finding these angles to be...


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Explain Everything Angle & Triangle Journey (Part 2)


Explain Everything Math Learning Journey - Opposite Angles & Interior/Exterior Triangle Angles

Kicking It Up A Notch With Visual Angle Proofs Yesterday, I posted about my first attempt at creating an Explain Everything Math Learning Journey by providing students with an Explain Everything Project File with some questions intended to have them discover some angle theorems. We began the journey today and I hope that we will have some video footage to share in the coming days. The stu...


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Desmos Math Journey: Representations of Linear Relations


Jump Into a Desmos Math Journey: Representations of Linear Relations

Using Desmos to Create Interactive Math Investigations Just recently, I have really been extending the effectiveness of inquiry/discovery based learning in my classroom by having students work at the whiteboards around my room. Students in grade 9 applied math are usually disengaged in math class because they have likely struggled with mathematics in elementary school. While I'm thoroughl...


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Another Desmos Activity we explored was Marbleslides: Lines.

[DESMOS] Marbleslides: Lines


Desmos Marbleslides - Lines

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:

Note that they have other Marbleslides versions including:

Other Useful Math Tasks and Tools:

Stacking Paper Sequel [3 Act Math Task]

What is the height of the table?



Finding the Equation of a Line Given Slope and a Point - 5 Stacks of Paper on a Table

This Task Is Now in a Multi-Touch Book! Grab It! Get an idea of what's inside the multi-touch book here. Or, consider accessing these interactive tasks via a series of Google Sites pages. Finding the Equation of a Line Given Slope and a Point This 3 Act Math Task is a sequel to the Stacking Paper Real World Math Problem I created a couple weeks back. In the previous task, stud...


Summary & Resources

Thick Stacks [3 Act Math Task]

How tall is the table?



Thick Stacks 3 Act Math Task - Height of 12 Stacks and 5 Stacks

This Task Is Now in a Multi-Touch Book! Grab It! Learn more about what's inside this multi-touch book for iBooks here. Or, consider using this task in an interactive way via Google Sites. Finding the Equation of a Line Given Two Points This 3 Act Math Task is yet another sequel to the Stacking Paper and Stacking Paper - Sequel 3 Act Math Tasks where we look at linear relati...


Summary & Resources

The Stacking Paper Tasks are also available on iOS as a multi-touch book for iBooks:

Stacking Paper Tasks Multitouch Book for iBooks

Grab It!

Learn more about what’s inside the multi-touch book here.

Or, consider accessing these tasks in an interactive way via Google Sites.

3 Act Math Tasks: Curious Math iTunes U Course

Access over 30 tasks with all resources downloaded directly to your iOS Device to avoid streaming media in your classroom through the Curious Math iTunes U Course:

3 Act Math Tasks - Curious Math iTunes U Course

Enrol in Course

[DESMOS] Function Carnival


Desmos Function Carnival Activity

Access this activity in the following ways:

[DESMOS] Polynomial Equation Challenges


Desmos Polynomial Equation Challenges

Access this activity in the following ways:

[DESMOS] Polygraph: Parabolas


Desmos Polygraph Activity

Access this activity in the following ways:

Other interesting Desmos Activities to Explore:


Will It Hit THe Hoop? Dan Meyer 3 Act Math Task Desmos Activity

Will It Hit The Hoop? – Dan Meyer 3 Act Math Task
Try as a student: Desmos Activity (Code: nax6)
Use this activity with your own class by clicking here.

Parallel and Perpendicular Lines

The Detention Buy-Out: Solving Systems of Equations

Other Useful Courses to Check Out:


Learn Pythagorean Theorem Through Exploration – Kyle Pearce
Stacking Paper Tasks – Kyle Pearce
Beautiful Functions – Jon Orr

OR, you don’t want to download Jon’s Beautiful Functions book? Check out all of the links here on his blog.


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