While my heart is in the right place when I teach math, according to my test scores it seems that my head isn’t in quite the right place. They weren’t all that bad, but they weren’t a resounding gong that all is right in my math teaching world. Not that test scores are everything… I truly believe they are not. However, I would like for my effort to show (at least a little bit). So… In an effort to improve my skills, I’ve decided to professionally develop myself in all things math whenever possible.
So far, I’ve attended two conference sessions held by our district math coordinator (that were fabulous), started reading Why Before How: Singapore Math Computation Strategies, Grades 1-6 by Jana Hazekamp, watched an ASCD webinar put on by Cathy Seeley – Creating and Supporting Classrooms Where Math Makes Sense (it’s totally free so go check it out), and then I stumbled upon some lovely teacher-folk who were putting together a book study on Jo Boaler’s Mathematical Mindsets. So here I am… A little late to the party, but doing my best!
We’ll be tackling one chapter each week… I’m going to do my best to keep up (although I’m already not doing a very good job), but as you can see, I don’t always do a very good job posting in a consistent or timely fashion.
I’d love feedback from anyone who has read this book, is reading it, or who has experience with any of the concepts and ideas.
This first chapter mostly talks about how the brain is able to grow and learn constantly and differentiates between fixed and growth mindsets. If you believe your abilities are fixed and that you are or are not smart, you have a fixed mindset. If you believe that your abilities are a function of your effort, then you have a growth mindset. Students with a growth mindset achieve more and take more risks on challenging tasks.
My Big Takeaway
All students can learn and be successful in math. If students aren’t learning and being successful, then we need to provide them experiences to shore up what they’re missing so that they can be. We need to project the message that all students are capable of learning and growing their abilities.
My Three Favorite Quotes:
Powerful. It seems like it’s all on us, guys. How we treat and speak to our students, how we craft our students’ experiences in our classrooms, and how we project attitudes towards learning, math, and “smartness”… What we do and what we say is what will unlock math (and “smartness”) for our students.
It’s a big job.
Let’s do this.