Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers

Any Problem Rich?

This discussion is part of a collection:Great Sources of Rich Problems

Can any math problem, not an exercise, but one with a context, mathematical or not, be made rich? Do you have examples to offer of followup Qs that took a straightforward math solution “to the Moon?”

The article “Math Questions Worth Asking” by Wendy Petti (catalogued at this site) has some suggestions and justifications for doing so. She offers suggestions for teachers on how to prepare for the upshot of such an approach.

Replies

Any problem can be rich, it purely depends on that problem

I think any problem can be made rich, the key is to ask the right questions Anytime we incorporate higher level questioning into our lessons, students must do more than just recall the answer. This can be as simple as asking them to analyze or critique the answer of a peer or as complex as having them infer across several problems what the general pattern or rule might be.