Ten Plus One:
Strategies for Enhancing Depth and Complexity of Math Tasks


Occasionally, teachers ask how I create challenging math tasks for advanced students. "Ten Plus One" is a tool that I developed in response to these questions. Its purpose is to help teachers design their own deep, complex math tasks from simpler ones.

Though others have outlined strategies similar to some of these, I have found that the Ten Plus One tool has been helpful for many teachers. Some of the strategies take practice to use, but quite a few of them are surprisingly simple to apply. The tasks that emerge from them, however, will not be so simple for your students!

The Ten Plus One strategies are not designed to create long-term projects like those in the Advanced Common Core Math Explorations books. (I am actually not sure that I can think of a set of strategies for creating activities like these.) However, Ten Plus One will help you design meaningful tasks that move students' thinking forward without simply accelerating them (perhaps prematurely) into the next topic.

These strategies are works in progress.  At the moment, I have examples for grades 2 and 3. I will be adding more for other grades soon, so please check back! Because I learn more about the strategies as I continue to talk with teachers, you may find that some of the details change from time to time. I hope you enjoy them and find them helpful. I welcome your suggestions!


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Ten Plus One strategies with suggestions for using them

Grade 2: Sample Task Extensions with notes

Grade 3: Sample Task Extensions with notes