RANTS (and Raves!): Rich Algebra and Number Tasks
Rich tasks, incorporating open-ended questions and investigations, can be used to expose students to alternative representations, reasoning and approaches to problem solving leading to deeper understanding. Students who are encouraged to look for patterns in their answers will discover rules and make meaning of them rather than trying to memorise rules that have no meaning for them. The Number and Algebra Strand of the Australian Mathematics Curriculum provides an opportunity for the development of rich tasks to link algebraic reasoning and arithmetical thinking to develop them simultaneously. The process of personalising, contextualising and adapting existing tasks to ensure they are rich, relevant and have the Mathematical Proficiencies embedded provides further opportunities. There are some great tasks and puzzles available that can be used as the catalyst for developing tasks that reflect your personality and interests and those of your students.
Day, L. (2012). RANTS (and Raves!): Rich algebra and number tasks. Paper presented at the Forty-ninth Annual Conference of the Mathematical Association of Victoria. La Trobe University, Bundoora, Vic, 6-7 December, 2012.