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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…

Math Links

Problem Solving in Math - Example

Problem Solving in Math Example: Gallery Walk with Patterning & Algebra

What are the goals?


describe and extend a geometric pattern make predictions related to this pattern investigate this problem with manipulatives ask questions present findings and express the patterning rule 

What, specifically, will I focus on?

Patterning Problem to: describe and extend a geometric pattern make predictions related to this pattern investigate this problem with manipulatives ask questions present findings and express the patterning rule.

How will I know if I am making progress towards my goal?

We will begin with a whole group discussion of the problem posed in class.

Minds on:


We will engage in a think/pair/share about what a particular math problem is asking us to do, then take it up with the class until everyone understood what the problem was asking of them.Next, we will made a plan in groups of 2 - 3 with grid chart paper and interlocking cubes to organize their thinking and solve the problem A…

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…