Using challenging and consolidating tasks to improve mathematical fluency

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Following an overview of teaching with challenging tasks, we explore the nexus between using both challenging and consolidating tasks to simultaneously develop conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. In particular, we argue that it is critical that students are provided with parallel opportunities to work on consolidating tasks, in order to connect conceptual understanding to improved strategy efficiency. This discussion makes reference to the Big Ideas in (primary) mathematics (Charles & Carmel, 2005) and provides three examples of challenging and consolidating tasks, each of which support students in grappling with a different ‘Big Idea’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMAV17 Conference Proceedings
Subtitle of host publication54th Annual Conference - La Trobe University, Bundoora
EditorsRebecca Seah, Marj Horne, Jude Ocean, Claudia Orellana
Place of PublicationBrunswick Vic Australia
PublisherThe Mathematical Association of Victoria (MAV)
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781876949617
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventMathematical Association of Victoria Annual Conference 2017 - La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 7 Dec 20178 Dec 2017
Conference number: 54th


ConferenceMathematical Association of Victoria Annual Conference 2017
Abbreviated titleMAV17
Internet address


  • Mathematics Education
  • Challenging tasks
  • Consolidating Tasks
  • Mathematical fluency

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