I’m reading 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussion and ran across the term foothold. Now, I watch a fair amount of sci-fi so this typically means alien possession within an organization to me so I did have a moment of confusion. That’s definitely not how it’s meant here.
While laying out the case for good task selection as a way to promote equity in the classroom, on p19 Smith & Stein note that
“Once a student has a foothold on solving the task, the teacher is then positioned to ask questions to assess what the student understands about the relationship in the task and to advance students beyond the starting point.”
I really like the term foothold used this way. “Will this task allow all my students to gain a foothold?” Isn’t that a nice question to ask as you plan out tasks for your kids?