Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Math: A Growth Mindset

This summer, I started reading Jo Boaler's book Mathematical Mindsets. I have been intending to take the online course from her at Stanford for a while now, but with the summer slipping by, I decided the next best thing was to take the online course for students. After diving right into it, I realized that it would be a wonderful launching off point for math instruction in my classroom.

The first day, when it was time for math,  I handed out some crisp, new math notebooks for them to decorate. Then I set the stage by asking who has ever thought of going to college. They told me of some well known colleges and universities around the world and we had a discussion.

Then came the shocking part. I told them we were going to do something that was so special, not many elementary students have ever done it, especially in 5th grade. We were going to start a college course on day one and it was going to be from Stanford! The kids were shocked, to say the least!

The second morning of school, during our daily meeting, I asked if students had any questions about the first day or what was to come. One girl raised her hand and asked for the link to the course. I then asked how many students went home to tell their parents about the course. More than half of the students had! I was so happy to see students taking "action" on the very first day which is one of the components of the PYP.

The course is linked here. As we progress, I will be posting activities and photos that show the work we are doing in conjunction with the coursework. The kids are so excited to learn about the brain, mathematical thinking and how anyone can "be a math person!" It is a great way to start the year and I encourage you to start the year the same way!

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