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Positive Communication in Math

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The Importance of a Growth Mindset in Math

Growth Mindsets in Math are important for student learning. 

Our youngest students are often very excited about learning math. But then something happens. I believe that  a students diminishing excitement for math is directly related to a lack of a growth mindset.

What is a Growth Mindset? 

A Growth Mindset is a philosophy promoted by Dr. Carol Dweck. With a growth mindset, we each have the ability to achieve success beyond our innate abilities. We also have the option to move forward in the face of adversity, and become successful in our own right.

When it comes to math, there is no such thing as a 'math person'. This is because a person's true potential is always unknown, or unknowable. 

But often, in school, we become focussed on getting the 'correct' answers, as fast as we can. This leads to students having fixed mindsets about their abilities in math. 

In math, we want students to NOT feel shame that there are deficiencies - this is why we learn! We all have the cap…

Integrating Math with First Nations, Metis & Inuit Students

Integrating Math with First Nations, Metis & Inuit Students


The dominant ways in which math has always been taught in our Western society includes drill, rote learning, and a focus on math ‘authorities’ including the teacher. This poses very serious problems for many of our mathematical learners, particularly for our First Nations, Metis & Inuit (FNMI) learners, whose perspectives and ways of knowing may not be included in the traditional curricular frameworks. Therefore, we are faced with very serious issues when it comes to considering who gets to learn math, and who will be included. Math that is inclusive of different cultures and ways of knowing the world, is built on the awareness that math itself is about knowing the world. It is my view that we as teachers can do many wonderful things in the classroom to integrate basic skills with constructivist and culturally responsive ways of teaching math that will support multiple ways of knowing – particularly for students who a…