Mathematics Tasks

The 14 tasks (on the left column) come from The Fostering Geometric Thinking Toolkit1 (FGTT), a professional development program for middle and secondary teachers of mathematics. The 5 accompanying support tools for each task (described in detail below) were generated from a National Science Foundation sponsored follow-up study of the FGTT, Fostering Mathematics Success of English Language Learners (FMSELL), conducted by researchers from the Education Development Center, Inc. and Horizon Research, Inc. The support tools are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under the Grant No. DRL-0821950. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

The supports to accompany each mathematical task were primarly designed for the use of math teachers of English learners in the middle grades. The materials themselves should be used and modified as the educator sees fit. They are meant to support the educator's established instruction. 

Five types of support tools accompany each task.  Select a task in the navigation menu on the left, and a list of the support tools will appear in that menu.  Those tools are:

Support tools:

  • Warm-ups help give teachers an idea of students' prior knowledge, provide scaffolding, and reinforce some of the academic language used in the task.
  • Sentence starters & frames help reinforce some of the mathematical sentence structures useful in solving the problem and facilitate the development of academic language.
  • Word charts break down key words and phrases in the task, identifying cognates, related terms, and meanings in Common English versus Academic English.
  • Support notes help make teachers aware of the nuances and other potential points of confusion in the language used in the task.
  • Spanish translation of the task

In addition, the "PDF Version" link in the navigation menu allows you to display a printable version of the mathematics task along with all five associated support tools.

1© 2008 by Education Development Center, Inc. from The Fostering Geometric Thinking Toolkit. Portsmouth, NH: Heineman. Permission to reproduce.