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Rich NRICH Shares the Wealth

Monthly editions of NRICH provide both students and teachers with a myriad of interesting content (problems, games, articles) that both challenge and "recreate" one's thinking process in mathematics. The content on the NRICH website is created by a team of teachers who are also "practitioners in RICH mathematical thinking." The host is the University of Cambridge.

A different theme umbrella's the content each month. Consider these past themes:

  • July 2010: Modelling Scientific Exploration and Discovery
  • June 2010: Mathematics and Art
  • May 2010: Complex Instruction and Group-worthy tasks
  • February 2010: Collaborative Mathematics
  • October 2009 & March 2009: Visualising
This is only a sample of themes, as the website has about ten years of "rich" material on it. The content and activities are separated into Key Stages 1 to 5, roughly equating to age groupings from 5 to 19. All of the resources have been classroom-tested...and the website claims they "do make a difference."

A relatively new section is stemNRICH, which offers "mathematical-science problems devoted to exploring the richness of the vital mathematical ideas underlying science, technology and engineering in thoroughly physical, relevant and engaging contexts." [Try to say that outloud ten times quickly!]

NRICH also offers a "Ask-a-Mathematician web-service," where a team of mathematicians will respond to any mathematical questions you (especially students) have. Rather than respond with answers, the team guides one through their own reflection on the problem and its possible solution.

I found it interesting to browse these question-response interactions, often observing a good model of how to help students answer their own questions.