Rich Ta$ks


Last week, we focused on making mistakes in the math classroom and how we can design learning to allow for these mistakes. This week, our professional learning group looked to build on this knowledge by exploring at rich tasks. As a group we defined what a rich task was:


Rich Tasks  – Andrew Morris (2016)

The OAME also offers an alternative, but similar, explanation of rich tasks which is adapted from NCTM‘s Mathematics Assessment: Myths, Models, Good Questions, and Practical Suggestions. This week, I am also responsible for hosting a webinar that explores facilitating financial literacy through math. What could more appropriate for teaching financial literacy concepts than the use of rich tasks?! As a former banker and a self-directed investor, I feel very passionate about educating our students about the importance of making sound financial decisions and how the money world works around them.


An elementary Ontario curriculum that outlines the expectations for financial literacy does not exist, BUT there is the Financial Literacy Scope and Sequence which highlights the areas for financial literacy in each of the existing curriculums. This document is an excellent starting place to find entry points to incorporate financial literacy into unit plans. I do agree that a solid financial base comes from the combination of explicit and implicit financial teachings. My hope is that educators will continue to keep financial literacy as a core part of their teaching in all subjects, especially during math. At the end of my post, I will add a list of resources that I have used during my webinar as well as some other blog posts that look at financial literacy strategies.


This rich task was adapted from from Kyle Pearce on This is an amazing resource – please check it out! The final slide I made outlines the ideas behind this financial literacy rich task:

This task has clear connections to number sense and numeration in the Ontario Mathematics curriculum for multiple grade levels depending on the solutions given.

(Ex. Grade 8 – Quantity Relationships –  express repeated multiplication using exponential notation pg. 111 // Grade 6 – Quantity Relationships – solve problems that arise from real-life situations and that relate to the magnitude of whole numbers up to 1 000 000 pg. 88)

This task is differentiated by being open routed – different grade levels can be expected to solve using age/developmentally appropriate strategies. It connects to financial literacy big ideas of compounding interest and savings. It uses many of the process expectations, including reasoning, communication, problem solving, and selecting computational tools and strategies. It is also engaging and relevant to the students’ lives. It is therefore a RICH TASK.

It is clear to see that we can develop rich tasks to approach financial literacy in the classroom. I am so excited to enter my placement and watch my students explore mathematical concepts through the useful financial literacy lens. What other resources do you use? What kind of rich tasks have you explored your students?

– A

RESOURCES (will update)

Elementary Financial Literacy – Brian Page (Edutopia, 2014)

  • A blog post breaking down more resources

Big Ideas in Financial Literacy (Money As You Learn)

  • My favourite resource that breaks down some big ideas and their age-appropriate levels

Practical Money Skills Canada

Financial Literacy Resources by Grade (Edugains)


2 thoughts on “Rich Ta$ks

  1. Pingback: This Week in Ontario Edublogs | doug --- off the record

  2. Andrew,

    You did a nice job of making the connection between rich tasks and financial literacy; this is a concept/topic that need to be in more classroom and sadly it doesn’t seem to be. Your background as a banker and an investor (like me) will be a great advantage to your students and yourself as you plan rich engaging tasks for the students as they explore concepts about money, saving, stocks, bonds, etc.

    I really like how you added the “Chore” question and used a slideshow format to model the question and made links to the curriculum. Can you also see how patterning and algebra are inherent in this question?

    Adding resources in your blog post makes it reacher for your readers as they can then access these sites to deepen their own understanding.

    Shelly 🙂


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