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Standards-based assessment and Instruction

Differentiated Problem Solving

Exemplars problem-solving tasks are versatile supplements for use in the traditional classroom as well as in Title I, Gifted and Talented and RTI programs.

Each differentiated task is accompanied by a more accessible and a more challenging version, allowing teachers to better meet the needs of the diverse students in their classrooms.

Our material can be easily integrated into your curriculum to enrich instruction and facilitate assessment.

Sample 3-5 Math Task

Original Version of Task (click here)

Mrs. Forest wanted to plan how to contact her students by phone in case the field trip they were going on the next day needed to be canceled. She decided to call one student who would then call 2 other students. Each of these students would then call 2 other students. This would continue until all students had been called. Mrs. Forest has 31 students. How many students will need to make phone calls if Mrs. Forest calls the first student?

More Accessible Version (click here)

Mrs. Forest wanted to plan how to contact her students by phone in case the field trip they were going on the next day needed to be canceled. She decided to call one student who would then call 2 other students. Each of these students would then call 2 other students. This would continue until all students had been called. Mrs. Forest has 15 students. How many students will need to make phone calls if Mrs. Forest calls the first student?

More Challenging Version (click here)

Mrs. Forest wanted to plan how to contact her students by phone in case the field trip they were going on the next day needed to be canceled. She decided to call one student who would then call 2 other students. Each of these students would then call 2 other students. This would continue until all students had been called. Mrs. Forest has 31 students. How many students will need to make phone calls if Mrs. Forest calls the first student? Find a rule for determining how many phone calls will be made for any number of students.

Click here to view the complete task with anchor papers.

Our Differentiated Best of Math, K-8 CDs offer:


  • Problem-solving tasks that promote reasoning and communication, allowing teachers to both see and understand student thinking.
  • Material that is differentiated at 3 levels, including more accessible and more challenging versions.
  • Annotated anchor papers that identify distinctions and provide examples of student work that meets the standard.

To learn more, please view our free samples or contact us at infoREMOVETHISBEFORESENDING@exemplars.com.

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