“Productive Struggle” as an Effective Strategy in Elementary Math Classrooms


  • Sara Daily


Productive Struggle refers to a strategy that gives students an opportunity to increase their background mathematical knowledge. Productive Struggle helps students connect key concepts, determine how and where an error occurs, and supports students in figuring out how to use their own thinking and reasoning skills to correct an error. Teaching without utilizing Productive Struggle instruction can lead to students being reluctant to work towards developing a deeper understanding of math concepts. Without a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts, students, who often do not perceive themselves as competent in math, may continue to find math difficult for them in the future.


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