Low-floor, high-ceiling tasks are those that are accessible to all but continue to provide challenge to those who find it easy initially. Good anchor tasks have the ability to accelerate struggling students’ learning.
For example, 7 + 3 + 2 has a low floor as one can find the sum by counting all – but the goal is to get students to make ten.
The choice of numbers and appropriate manipulatives such as ten frames increase the likelihood of these students getting to making ten sooner rather than later. In this sense, it is not just a low-floor task; it is also an excellent anchor for the intended learning.
More able students can attend to multiplicative structures such as 3 x 4 and 2 x 6. Some may even notice that it is a sum of three prime numbers and get to explore Goldbach’s conjecture.
In think! Mathematics, our textbooks have a wide variety of low-floor, high-ceiling tasks that cater to students with diverse learning needs.
Written by Dr Yeap Ban Har