Strengths-Based Teaching and Learning in Mathematics

  • Title:Strengths-Based Teaching and Learning in Mathematics: Five Teaching Turnarounds for Grades K-6
  • Author:Beth McCord Kobett, Karen S. Karp
  • Publication Date:March 2020
  • Grade Level:K-6
  • ISBN:9781544374932
  • Publisher:Corwin Press

Your game plan for unlocking mathematics by focusing on students’ strengths.

We often evaluate student thinking and their work from a deficit point of view, particularly in mathematics, where many teachers have been taught that their role is to diagnose and eradicate students’ misconceptions. But what if instead of focusing on what students don’t know or haven’t mastered, we identify their mathematical strengths and build next instructional steps on students’ points of power?

Beth McCord Kobett and Karen S. Karp answer this question and others by highlighting five key teaching turnarounds for improving students’ mathematics learning: identify teaching strengths, discover and leverage students’ strengths, design instruction from a strengths-based perspective, help students identify their points of power, and promote strengths in the school community and at home. Each chapter provides opportunities to stop and consider current practice, reflect, and transfer practice while also sharing

  • Downloadable resources, activities, and tools
  • Examples of student work within Grades K–6
  • Real teachers’ notes and reflections for discussion

It’s time to turn around our approach to mathematics instruction, end deficit thinking, and nurture each student’s mathematical strengths by emphasizing what makes them each unique and powerful.


Author Bio

Beth McCord Kobett, EdD, is an associate professor in the School of Education at Stevenson University and the current president of the Association of Maryland Mathematics Teacher Educators. She is a former classroom teacher, elementary mathematics specialist, adjunct professor, and university supervisor.

Karen S. Karp is a professor in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. She is a former member of the board of directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and a former president of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE).

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