From Jo Boaler’s How to Learn Math: for Students:
People see mathematics in very different ways. And they can be very creative in solving problems. It is important to keep math creativity alive.
When you learn math in school, if a teacher shows you a method, think to yourself, what are the other ways of solving this? There are always others. Discuss them with your teacher or friends or parents. This will help you learn deeply.
I keep thinking about mathematical flexibility. If serious about flexibility, how do we communicate to learners actions that they can take to practice?
How might we narrow what separates high achievers from low achievers? If number flexibility is a gateway to success, what actions are we willing to take to encourage, build confidence, and illuminate multiple pathways to success?
How might we, as a community of learners, grow in our knowledge and understanding to enhance the growth mindset of each of our young learners? What if we enroll and take Jo Boaler’s How to Learn Math: For Students and share our thinking, understanding, and learning? What if we investigate and analyze the Common Core State Standards for the mathematics that we teach?
As a team of interested math learners, we will spend 10 hours (1 PLU of credit) learning together using the following outline as our course of study.
In order to share our reflections, we will use a copy of the Enhancing Growth Mindset in Math Google doc to record, expand on, and share the reflections from the Stanford MOOC and our thoughts and connections to the CCSS.
It is my hope that each teacher-learner will share their reflections with everyone in the group or at least one other member.
How vulnerable will we be? What if we share what we know and don’t know and learn together?
What if we display learning progressions in our learning space to show a pathway for learners? After Jennifer Wilson (Easing the Hurry Syndrome) and I published SMP-1: Make sense of problems and persevere #LL2LU, I wondered how we might display this learning progression in classrooms. Dabbling with doodling, I drafted this visual for classroom use. Many thanks to Sam Gough for immediate feedback and encouragement during the doodling process.
I wonder how each of my teammates will use this with student-learners. I am curious to know student-learner reaction, feedback, and comments. If you have feedback, I would appreciate having it too.
What if we are deliberate in our coaching to encourage learners to self-assess, question, and stretch?
[Cross posted on Easing the Hurry Syndrome]
How do we celebrate our culture and show quick snapshots of what we value to new members of our community? How do we leverage digital tools to communicate, collaborate, and take control when we have choice?
As a Leadership Team, we designed an agenda for celebration, learning, and teaming.
We use Google docs and spreadsheets to communicate, collaborate, and choose time slots for learning. The tweets shown are linked back to the source if more detail is wanted. There is a quote from each of the nine summer reading books to offer a snippet from the books not chosen by any member of our community.
How do we celebrate our culture? How might we leverage digital tools to communicate, collaborate and offer choice? What if we up the ante on our infusion of the 4 Cs?
We want every learner in our care to be able to say
I can make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. (CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP1)
But…What if I think I can’t? What if I’m stuck? What if I feel lost, confused, or discouraged?
How might we offer a pathway for success? What if we provide cues to guide learners and inspire interrogative self-talk?
- Level 4:
I can find a second or third solution and describe how the pathways to these solutions relate.
- Level 3:
I can make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- Level 2:
I can ask questions to clarify the problem, and I can keep working when things aren’t going well and try again.
- Level 1:
I can show at least one attempt to investigate or solve the task.
In Struggle for Smarts? How Eastern and Western Cultures Tackle Learning, Dr. Jim Stigler, UCLA, talks about a study giving first grade American and Japanese students an impossible math problem to solve. The American students worked on average for less than 30 seconds; the Japanese students had to be stopped from working on the problem after an hour when the session was over.
How might we bridge the difference in our cultures to build persistence to solve problems in our students?
NCTM’s recent publication, Principles to Action, in the Mathematics Teaching Practices, calls us to support productive struggle in learning mathematics. How do we encourage our students to keep struggling when they encounter a challenging task? They are accustomed to giving up when they can’t solve a problem immediately and quickly. How do we change the practice of how our students learn mathematics?
[Cross posted on Easing the Hurry Syndrome]