The above Math Task Collection includes 3-Act Math Tasks, Desmos Activities, Thinking Prompts, and Invitations & Provocations linked to SK Outcomes, for Grades K-12.

To enhance the instruction within your math classes, select an option below to learn more about each instructional routine or task.

3-Act Math Tasks engage students in learning math through solving problems in a visual and collaborative fashion

Open Middle Problems are puzzle-like questions with multiple approaches, and help develop a greater depth of knowledge

Desmos activities help students explore and learn math concepts, refine their vocab, and apply their math knowledge creatively

Number Talks help students verbalize their mental math strategies, make connections, think flexibly, build fluency and Number Sense

Menu Math is a list of constraints with the goal of finding the fewest mathematical objects to satisfy all constraints

Comparison structures like Which One Doesn't Belong allow students to improve their reasoning and use math vocab

Fraction Talks allow for creative thinking and reasoning with fraction representations and operations

Building Thinking Classrooms is a model of organizing your math classroom to make student thinking at the centre

Julie Smith has compiled digital math manipulatives on the slide shown. Each image is a link to a specific digital manipulative.

A few other manipulatives typically used in GSCS are linked below:

Canadian Money from Mathies

Pattern Blocks from Mathies

Algebra Tiles from Mathigon (scroll down)

Thank you Julie! (twitter: @JGTechnieTeacher)

Julie Smith's Math Manipulatives

GSCS Math Look-Fors: Instruction

The process of teaching and engaging students with content.

Determined by Curriculum:

  • Instruction is designed based on curriculum outcomes

  • Throughout the lesson, learning targets/success criteria are clearly articulated in student-friendly language


  • Teachers plan for instruction and intervention using the Student Learning Model (Quality Core, Plus, Focused, Specialized, and Intensive Needs)

Research-based Instructional Strategies:

  • Kehtawisowin: Sense-making is dialogic, interactive, and ongoing

      • Math is learned through asking questions, listening, observing, and making connections

      • A variety of discursive instructional strategies are used (e.g., number sense routines, classroom discussion, reciprocal teaching, problem solving, self-verbalization, and self-questioning)

  • The teacher scaffolds student learning through whole group, small group, and independent learning

      • Whole group instruction: the students and teacher work collaboratively, share thinking, and consolidate ideas and strategies (e.g., MMS Explore/Investigate, open-ended tasks, Number Talks, games, direct instruction, creating anchor charts, review, and practice of concepts)

      • Small group instruction: the teacher works with small, flexible groups to support instructional needs and build greater independence (e.g., re-teaching, scaffolding, immediate feedback, hands on practice, differentiation based on a lesson or other math targets, and providing enrichment)

      • Independent learning: students work on a variety of engaging activities for purposeful practice of math concepts (e.g., assignments, MMS Activity Bank, fluency practice, hands on games, Mathletics/online practice

Access the full GSCS Math Look-Fors document here (GSCS login required).