Monday, September 17, 2018

Launching the Math Year 2018-2019

Jo Boaler teaches these powerful tenets in her many books about teaching math. 
Launching the math year takes time and attention. It also requires the support of colleagues and family members. While not all families will be able or want to support students' daily math learning, all families can support the program by knowing what's going on and encouraging students' best efforts via questioning, use of intelligent assistants, following the program, and having a positive "I can do this" attitude.

That's why I wrote this note to family members and colleagues this morning:

The program began with a brief overview of the history of people clearly emphasizing that we all belong here--we're part of a dynamic learning team that will do best if we care for one another and help each other learn.

Then we made math t-shirts by figuring out our name-totals using a =1, b = 2, c = 3. . . z = 26. Students studied their numbers to determine whether those numbers were even or odd, composite or prime, or perfect. They found the numbers' multiples and factor pairs too. This was a good review of past learning.

Next, we reviewed and practiced initial vocabulary, homework routines, online venues, and learning menus. Students took a couple of assessments too. Now nine days later, students are ready to practice the learning routines and home study more. We'll engage in some team activities, review mindset, learning behaviors, and norms, and then begin our first unit of study: place value--a unit that will be completed in about a month's time by October 12.

The amazing math team "wearing" their number total t-shirts.