Anchor Tasks in Mathematics

Oct 29, 2015

An anchor task is a problem given to students at the beginning of a math block that provides an opportunity to activate prior knowledge, requires students to collaborate and ask questions of each other, and promotes an environment for students to productively struggle and persevere in problem solving. 

Purposeful planning for this task is done by the teacher so that students can begin to construct their own knowledge on new learning before direct instruction is introduced. During this time, which should last approximately 10-12 minutes, students are encouraged to try various strategies through concrete, pictorial, or abstract modalities, in order to create multiple retrieval points for information.  While students are collaborating, the teacher acts as facilitator by posing questions to guide thinking.  At the conclusion of the task, students may or may not arrive at the anticipated answer which helps the teacher determine the starting point for direct instruction.

Check out this website full of anchor tasks for kindergarten through fourth grade.

First, click on the button, “Anchor and Performance Tasks.

Next, click on the button for whatever grade level you would like to view.

Then, you will see a list of tasks you can choose from that are organized by grade level strands.


Related Posts

Working with Fractions: Adding Fractions

Working with Fractions: Adding Fractions

Finding the least common denominator? Find out why that’s more work and see how understanding equivalent fractions make adding fractions easier!

Working with Fractions: Dividing Fractions

Working with Fractions: Dividing Fractions

For most of us dividing fraction is one of those things where we got the right answer in math, but we don’t really remember why. Most of us memorized a procedure with a concept we don't understand: “don’t ask why, just invert and multiply.” Maybe it’s time to ask...