Initial task

A sample initial task
A sample initial task from Unit 1 in Algebra I
The initial task for a unit is intended to both preview the upcoming mathematics for a student and help teachers see how their students understand the mathematics prior to the unit. Each initial task comes with a rubric, sample student work, a data tool to support unpacking of the resulting information, and suggested protocols for unpacking the strategies students used on the task.

We recommend teachers:

  • Do the task and articulate the core mathematics of the task. Anticipate where students will likely experience success and where students might struggle. Look to see where their ELL students might struggle with the language of the task. Decide on a protocol they will use to support these students.
  • Create a tool to keep track of their observations while students do the task.
  • Decide on how they are going to frame the task for students to ensure they understand both the purpose of the task and what they are expected to do.
  • Download the task and print sufficient copies for your students. Note that in our testing, printing the task directly from Google Drive sometimes results in the images embedded in the task not being printed correctly.

We provide these tools to analyze student data for teacher convenience. We recommend teachers choose a process for analyzing the resulting data from the task that helps them respond to the data.