Rich Task Construction: Making "Good" Problems Better


  • Michael Waters Northern Kentucky University


The author describes characteristics of rich problems and provides mathematics teachers with strategies for transforming routine exercises into problems that promote problem-solving practices with a focus on problems for which a solution is not immediately apparent.  Several problems and solutions are presented with a mindful approach to assigning problems.


Becker, Jerry, and Shigeru Shimada. 1997. The Open-Ended Approach: A New Proposal for Teaching Mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM.

Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). 2010. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Washington, DC: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Department for Education (2014). The national curriculum in England: Key stages 3 and 4 framework document. Accessed: March 7, 2018.

Kemeny, John, J. Snell, and Gerald Thompson. 1956. Introduction to Finite Mathematics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). 2000. Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM.

Piggott, Jennifer. 2011. Rich Tasks and Contexts. NRICH: Enriching Mathematics. Accessed September 28, 2018.

Waters, Michael. 2003. How and Why Students Select, Apply, and Translate Among Mathematical Representations in Problem Solving while Learning Algebra in a Computer Algebra System Learning Environment. Doctoral Dissertation.




How to Cite

Waters, M. (2018). Rich Task Construction: Making "Good" Problems Better. Ohio Journal of School Mathematics, 80(1). Retrieved from




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