“Conferring is the practice of talking with students as they engage in meaningful work with the purpose of uncovering their thinking and supporting learning in the moment…. Conferring in math asks, ”Where are you?” and “Where could you go next?” rather than “Where should you be?” or “What would I do next?”” (Munson, 2018).

Framework of a Math Conference

  1. Attend to the student’s thinking.
  2. Elicit student thinking.
  3. Interpret the student’s thoughts and ideas.
  4. Decide the next steps in the student’s mathematical learning.
  5. Nudge the student along, closing the gap in understanding. (Munson, 2016)

Questions to Get the Math Conference Started

  • Tell me about the problem you are solving.
  • What are you working on? – How can you model that?
  • What strategy are you using to solve the question?
  • What do you know about this problem?
  • What other math does this make you think of?
  • What do you do when you get stuck?
  • How will this work help you answer the essential question?
  • What patterns do you notice?
  • What is another strategy that will allow you to solve the problem?
  • Is there a more efficient strategy? (a quicker way)
  • Have you found a possible rule?


The following is an example of a record-keeping chart that could be used when conferring with students:

Further Reading/ Professional Resources

Munson, Jen, (2018). In the Moment: Conferring in the Elementary Classroom Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

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