Math is literally everywhere and used in everything, but we don’t spend enough time acknowledging this fact. How do we build a culture of mathematics in our classrooms?
Summer is the perfect time for instructional leaders to pause, reflect, and make moves for next year. Instructional Leader Courtney has three thoughts about how to move forward with a plan and purpose.
While it’s easy to Google to find a worksheet, “easy” doesn’t mean “quality.” Explore these 5 quick shifts to move a worksheet from “meh” to “GREAT!”
Armed with Peter Liljedahl’s 2021 text Building Thinking Classrooms and the pain and frustration of the social upheaval and pandemic deaths of recent years, I set out to push the boundaries of my abilities to teach math and help students realize more of their true potential. In a whirlwind of change, I departed from the status quo. How did I fare? Did transformation take place?
Teaching the way I was taught wasn’t inspiring to my students. However, transitioning to a conceptual approach was a critical element in building strong foundational understanding and capacity for all students to succeed in math. Learners need opportunities to DO math, and in DOING, there is LEARNING.
I wanted to create a space where my students could make mistakes and be okay, where they actually liked coming to my class, where they felt “smart” in their own way wherever they were in their learning, where they would push themselves to do better than yesterday, where they could struggle with something and still be alive to tell about it.
Rather than regurgitate math procedures, I knew my students needed to be able to think and reason deeply enough to tackle any problem thrown at them in math, or even life.
An ambitious math teacher sees students as having the ability to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. An ambitious teacher believes their students can make sense of new math ideas and use what they already know to solve problems.
If you’ve ever sat in on a professional development session with me, you’ve heard my spiel, “From here on out, you’re a math person. Even if you feel you have no connection to mathematics, you need to channel your inner actor or actress and become a math person.
“When are we ever going to use this?” The dreaded, yet inevitable, question that arises every year for math educators. With the abstract nature of many standards in the high school math curriculum, I can certainly empathize with the sentiment of this question.