Book Study – Mathematical Mindsets Chapter 6

I’m super behind schedule on this one for a couple reasons…  I’ll explain in a moment.  But first, the fancy graphic…

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First, the reasons for my tardiness…

#1 – Last week was brutal.  I had afterschool/evening commitments most days during the week.  It was just busy, busy, busy.

#2 – Many of the best practices listed in this chapter are not happening where I currently am…both in my school and in my classroom.  It’s hard to swallow that I’m not doing what’s best for kids sometimes, often because I just didn’t know any better until now or because I’m currently constrained to routines put into place before I got there.  It’s hard to confront and deal with the mindset and logistical changes that would have to happen to put the (inspiring, motivating, amazing) ideas in this book into practice.  At this moment, however, I’m only able to influence what happens within my little classroom.  I’m cooking up ideas to make a bigger impact though, just you wait.

So this was a tough chapter for me.  I had to deal with some stuff in my own mindset and face up to the fact that I’m not doing what’s best for kids.  I have to deal with what I’m going to do about it.  I don’t have answers at the moment and so it took me a while to figure out what I was going to write.

Since I still don’t have the answers, I’m going to leave you with a quick summary and then some pretty fantastic quotes to think about.  They’ve been rattling around in my head over the past week or so.  I’m just going to leave them here and you can let me know your thoughts.

Summary
This chapter states that the traditional ways of teaching math exclude SO MANY students because of the way it is taught…not because the content is too hard for them.  The chapter lays out ways to make math teaching and learning equitable for all students.  Spoiler alert: Grouping students by ability is NOT good for anyone…not even the high-achievers.  More on that in the next chapter as well…

And now…  Enjoy some powerful quotes…

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Final Thoughts
Right?

It’s all about us, and what we do…or don’t.  The statements seem like such no-brainers, but then really look at your practice…  Are you segregating your math groups?  Do you provide different levels of activities for different groups?  Do you make choices about difficulty level for your students or do they choose for themselves?  Are you (unwittingly, unknowingly, unintentionally) giving negative messages to some of your students?  My answers were difficult to accept.  I’m still working on digging them out and accepting them.  I’m determined to do better, though.

Hard stuff…  I’d love to know your thoughts.

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