How does exSTEMsions work?

It all starts with choosing your first problem-set to download...

  • Head into our TpT Store and choose a Problem-set or Mini Challenge-set that makes you go 'hmmmm, I can't wait to see what THIS is all about' and hit purchase (each set costs less than $2, which means it might even be okay if you fall in love with MORE than one...).

  • Download your problem-set, open it up, and get ready to rock! Start by reading through the Math Category and Standards, and Thinking Skills sections, or, hop right into the Problem with your kids and get rolling.

  • When you're ready for it, read through the Solution. You might check it out before you start, in the middle of work as you need it, or even after you're finished to see maybe if we solved it differently, or to rethink parts that might have been sticky for your kids.

  • Once you've solved the main Problem, hop along to the Exstemsion for an additional, connected challenge that gives you a chance to push kids' math, critical thinking, and problem solving skills just a little bit further.

  • And then? When you're finished with the Problem and the Exstemsion? Celebrate! Remind your kids how much they've learned as they worked, and check out the Big Ideas to see where all this learning might lead.

What's included in a problem?

Math Category and Standards

Knowing what kind of math you're doing (and how it meshes with standards) matters. Each problem-set comes correlated to the CCSS Practice Standards and linked to the key mathematics and problem solving skills being addressed.

Thinking Skills

Learning math effectively is about more than just manipulating numbers - it's learning to THINK. The Thinking Skills section of each set lays out exactly which critical thinking skills will be nurtured through the problem, and why they matter in math!


The Problem is where the learning trule begins. Our Problems are decidedly NOT your run-of-the-mill exercises. They're also not going found in your standard curriculum materials - but they WILL support them.

Each Problem begins as a story or puzzle that's both relatable (kids can see what's going on and what the problem actually is) and engaging (they get HOOKED right away!), and that creates space for independent work AND collaboration.


The Solution follows the problem and is way MORE than just the answer. Our Solutions are detailed, friendly, step-by-step explanations of the how to solve the Problem. The Solution is built to be a support - you can use all of it, or just the pieces you need.

Supporting Questions

Some Solutions (most!) also include Supporting Questions. Written by expert-teachers, these questions are built to support learning in real time and written so that when asked, learning can move forward (without also giving the answers away!). The Supporting Questions are built to give an additional layer of support while ensuring that the kids are the ones doing the thinking.


The Exstemsion is our version of an extension problem. Each Exstemsion is built to offer an additional challenge, related to the Problem that allows kids to extend and test their learning. Each Exstemsion problem comes with its own in-depth and easy-to-use Solution.

Big Ideas

The Big Ideas are the icing on the cake. Each Problem closes with Big Ideas which are built to provide a deeper look into some of the math explored in the problem, provide context on why that math matters, and to share where and how it shows up in the world around us.

Try it at Teachers Pay Teachers!

Try your first Problem for free at Teachers Pay Teachers using the link below!