Two Instructional Moves to Promote Student Competence

Author: Jen Munson
View More View Less

Mrs. Hobbs's fourth graders are struggling. And it is working. This year, instead of teaching the state standard on unit conversion by showing students a procedure to follow, Hobbs asked her students to work in groups to develop a method. She is excited to promote more reasoning, problem solving, and use of varied solution pathways, in line with the NCTM's Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (2014). This is worthy work. But in some moments, for some students, the struggle does not feel productive. Several students are hesitant and lack confidence. A few give up easily. Hobbs does not want to go back to telling students a procedure, but she does not want to leave them to flounder.

Contributor Notes

Jen Munson,, is a doctoral candidate in teacher education at Stanford University, a coach and professional developer, and a former elementary and middle school teacher. She is interested in teacher-student discourse in elementary school mathematics classrooms and how instructional coaches can promote teacher learning.

(Corresponding author is Munson
Teaching Children Mathematics


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 42 31 3
Full Text Views 51 29 3
PDF Downloads 41 22 5
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0