Maths Information

Video - What is an open ended task

Whole school Maths vocabulary explained by our

Math Coaches!


At LPS, we teach maths through Open Ended Tasks. An Open Ended task is a maths activity where there is more than one way to solve the problem, and often more than one solution. This is where the term ‘open’ comes from. For example instead of asking a student what is 3x8 (which is a closed question because it has only one answer of 24), we flip the problem to become ‘the answer is 24, what could the multiplication problem be?’ (this is now an ‘open task’ because there is more than one way to solve this problem).We recognise that when we provide students with an open ended task, some students might find it a little difficult, whereas some students might be eager for a further challenge.

This is where we use enabler tasks and extender tasks when presenting an open ended task.

An enabler task is a similar problem to the open ended task, but it has been modified slightly to allow an easier entry point. Some students may be required to complete the enabler task to help them become more ready to complete the open ended problem presented.

An extender task, on the other hand, is an extension task that builds upon the original open ended problem. So, once a student completes the open ended task, they can be challenged further by completing the extender task.