Differentiating Math Instruction:
Using Rich Tasks, Whole Group Discussion, and Small Group Work to Reach All Learners

PD Courses

Rich problems invite a variety of solution strategies. They provide an effective vehicle for accommodating a range of levels and learning needs. In this six-week online course participants will explore strategies for using problem solving to build skills and concepts for struggling students and to provide challenge for those who are ready.

View the syllabus.

NOTE: If there is enough interest, we will offer a section for teachers of Grades K-5 and another focused on Grades 6-Algebra; either way, we will provide differentiated tasks and opportunities for small groups with common grade levels/interests to work together. All participants will explore rich problems, look at class sets of student work, and learn and share tips and techniques for effective differentiation.

  This moderated course will be led by Max Ray-Riek, Project Manager. It will take place online using Canvas. The only technical requirements are a web browser and Internet access.

Who: Teachers of grades K-Algebra.


November 13 - December 22, 2017
Registration closes at 5 pm EDT on Monday, November 13, 2017. There will be approximately 20 hours of seat-work involved in this course.


      Register now!

In this course you will:

  • learn how rich problems help teachers differentiate instruction for learners with diverse developmental levels and learning needs.
  • discuss choosing and adapting rich tasks to reduce barriers to entry and maximize opportunities to make mathematical connections.
  • develop strategies for adapting problems to make them more accessible or more challenging.
  • learn management strategies that allow all students to grow.
  • explore ways in which assessment of problem solving can inform instructional decisions.
  • practice skills for orchestrating mathematical discussions using student thinking.
  • design follow-up instruction for small groups based on student thinking.

Course activities will include:

  • readings from the Common Core State Standards (all available online).
  • readings from books and teaching journals, for example Using Rich Problems for Differentiated Instruction, by Eric Hsu, Judy Kysh, and Diane Resek.
  • solving rich problems and discussing how they can be used to differentiate instruction on core concepts.
  • looking at and giving feedback on sample student work.
  • looking at a class set of student work to plan instructional strategies that meet a wide range of student needs.
  • sharing ideas and reflections with coursemates through online journals and discussions.

Please email me with any questions.

Max Ray-Riek, Project Manager

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

Home || The Math Library || Quick Reference || Search || Help 

© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.