Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Mindset Math: Learning Together

One challenge I have as a classroom teacher is making the time upfront to rehearse good group protocols and behaviors. I definitely rush this important skill, and find that it frustrates me all year long. This year I want to make a good attempt to do better in this area. I have my new co-lab furniture coming and any goals related to collaborative skill and abilities for myself and my students.

I was interested to read what Boaler supports in this regard as I work to set up a more collaborative and successful math teaching/learning environment. Boaler suggests the following:

  • Have students work in groups to come up with lists of things they don't like people to say or do during math class. Typically students love coming up with negatives so this should be a catchy activity. 
  • Create a "What We Don't Like" poster as a class.
  • Then use the same process to create a "What We Do Like" poster. 
Since we'll beginning the year by setting up class governments as part of our social studies program, I'll likely have students review the posters and sign that they agree. In a sense, these will be laws that govern our math class.

Boaler further provides a great activity for learning to reason--one I'll use as part of our early teamwork efforts. As we engage in the early activities, we'll focus on polite behavior, good listening, words that help us to talk about math. This is a helpful chart I found on Pinterest, there were many more as well.

As I continue to read Boaler's book, I'll match the chapters with the order of our scope and sequence and interject the investigations where they fit in. I'm looking forward to having Boaler, Munson, and Williams as virtual coaches for my teaching this year as I use their book, Mindset Mathematics: Visualizing and Investigating Big Ideas, Great 5, as a guide.