I struggle to pinpoint a single answer to this question.

Is problematic dependent on the teacher, the task, or both? Or is one more heavily weighted than the other?  I have seen great teachers transform some awful tasks and make them “problematic”…but what do I know?  What I do know is that problematic doesn’t have a time-frame, it can last 5 minutes or 5 days.

As the school year cranks up and lesson planning begins, how can we ensure that both teacher and task are embracing the Standards for Mathematical Practice (specifically SMP#1)?

As I try to fine-tune my definition, I found the Institute for Advanced Study/Park City Mathematics Institute SMP Rubric extremely valuable when planning before and reflecting after a lesson.

SMP Rubric

I have condensed the rubric into 2 pages which I’ve found a little more user friendly when planning. SMP Teacher Growth Rubric V.2

I guess the question I’m asking is, “how can a teacher ensure that the lesson they’re about to teach is problematic?”