Word Problems

Success Criteria for upside down teaching   


Rich tasks description

Question Breakdown

Parallel-and-Open-Questions-Grades-K-3-          Parallel-and-Open-Questions-Grades-3-5-

Numberless Word Problems

No more CUBES and Keywords!!!!! Try this: 3 READS


















Deleting numerical values (words only)                  Leaving off the question (students can create questions) 3 Reads/Math Stories                                                    Notice and Wonder from Annie Fetter (video below)        Giving the answer in context and having students create the word problem(s) that produce it.                                Teach math comprehension like you would reading comprehension. AVOID: Key words and follow these easy steps techniques.

What is Upside-Down Teaching?

Turning Teaching Upside-Down Article by Cathy Seeley

 Great article that focuses on why the struggle/grapple time is important.

Article and Task Planning Sheet:

Article-Orchestrating Discussions

Task Planning Page

Three Steps to Increase a Math Problem’s DOK Level

Open Task Resources

Mathematics Centre Tasks



Convince Me That……Website

Illuminations Website

Same or Different Website

Which One Doesn’t Belong (AKA Odd One Out)



Numberless Word Problems:


The video above is Kristin Gray, from the Teaching Channel, with a 2nd grade class

Click here for the blog that she wrote explaining what she did in the video.

Excellent video to show the whole process of upside-down teaching and thinking that goes on from the students and the teacher in a 5th grade classroom working on dividing decimals.


Another excellent video of a 3rd grade classroom to show upside-down teaching with commutative property of multiplication.


Upside-Down Teaching of a 3rd grade class, focusing on discourse. Students work with fractions.