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This four-hour face-to-face course is part of a series on multi-level strategies for the math classroom. In this course, you will learn the elements of parallel tasks and how to use them to differentiate math tasks as well as use them for formative assessments. You will also have an opportunity to create your own set of parallel tasks so you can go back to your classroom with a new, ready-to-use tool. This course assumes an understanding of what differentiation implies, as well as an understanding of what formative assessment is and how it differs from summative assessment. (For a review of the difference between the two, we recommend reviewing this fact sheet before attending the course.)


    This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • All teachers involved in adult numeracy instruction

Teaching math in a multi-level classroom can be challenging for teachers. One format for addressing this challenge is utilizing parallel tasks, which are sets of tasks that address the same math concept at different levels. They are designed to give students in multi-level classrooms a chance to choose and work on a task that is challenging for them, and also participate in whole group discussions about the concepts being assessed.

Assessment is also crucial to successful instruction, and research has shown that when done effectively, formative assessment can actually improve student outcomes in addition to providing information about student learning. According to Jo Boaler in "Aligning Assessment to Brain Science" (2017), "When we give assessments to students we create an important opportunity. Well-crafted tasks and questions accompanied by clear feedback offer students a growth mindset pathway that helps them to know that they can learn to high levels, and, critically, how they can get there." 

This is a four-hour workshop. To receive a certificate of completion, you must attend the entire face-to-face-session. For more information, please contact Sherry Soares ( 

    Learning Objectives

    Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the elements of parallel tasks
    Use parallel tasks for formative assessment
    Use the DEN process to make instructional decisions
    Create a set of parallel tasks for an upcoming lesson or unit
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s)



Quinsigamond Community College
670 W Boylston St, Ahlfors Bldg, RM 111ALF
Worcester, MA 01606
United States

PD Center
SABES Mathematics and Adult Numeracy Curriculum and Instruction PD Center
Topic Area
CCRSAE (College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education)
High School Equivalency (HiSET/GED)
Learning Disabilities / Differences
Mathematics and Adult Numeracy