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Deborah Carlson

Cognitive Demand Task

This first worksheet is a typical lower level demand math task in 2nd or 3rd grade to
practice two-digit addition with regrouping. It is algorithmic. The procedure is based on
prior instruction.
The second page was changed to increase the level of cognitive demand. First, the
students work with partners, thereby bringing forth discussion of the problem (SMP 3).
The students will need to examine and analyze the task to determine their course of
action (SMP 1,2).
Students will try out many combinations of numbers to solve the problem. When one
correct answer is found, the team will most likely find other combinations fairly quickly.
This type of math task takes thoughtful planning on the teacher’s part. I chose the
number 53 because the combinations of numbers to make 13 are difficult but the
overall number was not too high. The 5 in the tens place of the answer would be made
by the carried 1 then a combination to make 4 (1 & 3, 2 & 2).
I would have students themselves create math problems to share during the next
lesson or later that week.
Name ____________________

a) b)

45 66
+ 38 + 27

c) d)

44 38
+ 19 + 25
Name ____________________

With your partner, write an addition problem with this answer that requires
regrouping as shown. Find as many number combinations as you can to get
this answer.

5 3
Instructions to teacher:

Students work in pairs to find as many two-digit number combinations for the missing

Students will discover that:

The number 1 is already carried over to the tens column guiding students toward making
combinations for 13. 4 & 9, 5 & 8, 6 & 7 (Tricky teens!)
Listen for this discovery.

If a team does not get to this realization within a reasonable amount of time, show them
that the 3 at the bottom and the 1 carried over to the ones column looks like it is 13.
If needed, encourage struggling students to use tools available in the classroom: linking
cubes, rekenreks, ten frames, etc.

A common error for students is to begin adding in the tens column. Hopefully, the
partners will catch this error. If not, that would be discussed in the whole group discussion
at the end.

When all (or nearly all) teams have found many combinations of numbers to answer this
problem. Call the students back to the whole-group discussion area to explain how they
solved the problem.

Extension discussion:
In what situation could we have a 2 carried over to the tens column?

The problem would need at least three addends. Talk about the number combinations in
the ones place that would make 23.

Standards for Mathematical Practice:

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Use appropriate tools strategically. (Optional, if needed in this lesson)
6. Attend to precision.
7. Look for and make use of structure.
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.