The impact on one teacher of a short professional development project run in a school in a low socio-economic area in a small city in rural Australia is investigated in this case study. The project aimed to support teachers to improve students’ writing in mathematics. The teacher’s reflections about her work with a small group of Year 3-4-5 students are discussed in relationship to what supported or hindered her to change her practices. Over the two months of the project, the teacher supported the children to comprehend and produce their own word problems. However, the process of deciding how to change what she did to meet the needs of the students was messy because different combinations of factors affected her willingness to try alternative practices. Her narratives, from watching the videos on her lessons and in joint meetings with the other teachers and researchers, indicated that reflecting on what she was doing contributed to her taking more risks in her teaching. This resulted in the students having more opportunities to use their mathematical literacy skills to comprehend and respond to word problems.
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