Sunday, 11 March 2018

Same-surface different-deep problems

One of the highlights from MathsConf 14 in Kettering was Craig Barton’s session in which he shared 5 things he’s learned from research and evidence which have led to changes in his teaching. One of these was same-surface different-deep problems.

In a traditional lesson, the worksheet students are given will often feature questions which appear very different on the surface, but underneath have the same algorithmic procedure to solve. Part of being a competent maths problem solver is to be able to identify when to use the procedure, not just to execute it.

Craig’s argument is that if we flip it on its head and sometimes give students same-surface different-deep problems it will help their development of the ability to identify which maths is required to solve a problem.

He’s created a community-based site called with lots of these type of problems already there and ready to use. You can upload your own problems to the site, adding to its library.

A fantastic new resource and certainly something to use in preparing students to become better problem solvers.

Example of some SSDD questions from Craig Barton’s site

first seen

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