Teaching Resource
Open-ended Math Problem Solving - Grades 1, 2, and 3 (Task Card Version)
A set of 20 open-ended problem solving task cards covering a range of mathematical concepts.
These open-ended problem solving task cards will promote deep, thoughtful, and creative responses from your students. More than one answer is acceptable; exploring possibilities is encouraged.
The problems cover a range of mathematical concepts such as place value, number operations, measurement, combinations, and data analysis.
Use these problem solving cards as a math warm-up, as a math center activity, or as an enrichment task for fast finishers.
This resource is also available in an editable powerpoint form.
Common Core Curriculum alignment
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.G.A.1
Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces. Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.
- CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP3
- CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP6
- CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP5
- CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP4
- CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP1
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.G.A.1
Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangl...
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.B.3
Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step "how many more" and "how many less" problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs. For example, draw a bar graph i...
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NBT.A.2
Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.B.5
Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide.2 Examples: If 6 × 4 = 24 is known, then 4 × 6 = 24 is also known. (Commutative property of multiplication.) 3 × 5 × 2 can be found by 3 × 5 = 15, then 15 × 2 = 30, or by 5 × ...
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.A.2
Interpret whole-number quotients of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 56 ÷ 8 as the number of objects in each share when 56 objects are partitioned equally into 8 shares, or as a number of shares when 56 objects are partitioned into equal shares of 8 o...
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.OA.A.1
Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol...
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.D.10
Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems1 using information presented in a bar graph.
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.C.8
Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately. Example: If you have 2 dimes and 3 pennies, how many cents do you have?
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.NBT.A.1
Understand that the three digits of a three-digit number represent amounts of hundreds, tens, and ones; e.g., 706 equals 7 hundreds, 0 tens, and 6 ones. Understand the following as special cases:
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.OA.C.4
Use addition to find the total number of objects arranged in rectangular arrays with up to 5 rows and up to 5 columns; write an equation to express the total as a sum of equal addends.
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.OA.C.3
Determine whether a group of objects (up to 20) has an odd or even number of members, e.g., by pairing objects or counting them by 2s; write an equation to express an even number as a sum of two equal addends.
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.OA.B.2
Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies. By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.G.A.2
Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite sha...
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.G.A.1
Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.MD.A.2
Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it wi...
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.OA.C.6
Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 - 4 = 13 - 3 - 1 = 10 - ...
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