Introducing a problem to children is always exciting when your goal is to challenge them in more than one way. The Base-Ten Block Challenge, published in TCM's January/February 2018 issue, has two layers to the activity. Conceptually, it has the challenge of using familiar materials more flexibly. In addition, this problem incorporates the strategy of Complex Instruction (CI), which aims to make group participation more equitable for all members through using random grouping and tasks with multiple entry points as well as ensuring that all students are accountable for understanding (Featherstone et al. 2011). A grade 2 class in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, took on this challenge, facilitated by a program coordinator in collaboration with their classroom teacher, Mrs. Beth Smith.

Contributor Notes

Cathy Chaput,, is a program coordinator with the Wellington Catholic District School Board in Guelph, Ontario. Her special interests in math include thinking and reasoning as well as concepts in early number and quantity. Beth Smith is the teacher of the grade 2 students in this article and is extremely committed to numeracy and conceptual understanding in her classroom.

Edited by Cathy Marks Krpan,, a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Each month, this section of the department showcases classroom results of using problems presented in previous issues of Teaching Children Mathematics.

(Corresponding author is Chaput author is Krpan
Teaching Children Mathematics


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