"Learning from failure has become a popular idea in education recently, partly because it feels like common sense to many people. In a general way, the idea of "picking yourself up after a fall" has long existed in American culture as in many other parts of the world. Teachers are hoping that if they can instill this idea in their students, the small, everyday setbacks inherent to learning new things won't feel so emotionally charged to students, who might instead see them as part of the path to greater understanding and ultimate success.
But turning the difficult experience of failure into a positive isn't as easy as telling students to change their mindsets; it takes careful lesson design, a strong classroom culture and an instructor trained in getting results from small failures so his or her students succeed when it matters."
"Nearly all kids learn how to count using their fingers. But as kids grow older and math problems become more advanced, the act of counting on fingers is often discouraged or seen as a less intelligent way to think. However, educators, parents and students who frown on kids for using their fingers may be cutting short a greater opportunity: the strengthening of brain networks.
Stanford professor Jo Boaler writes in The Atlantic about the neurological benefits of using fingers and how it can contribute to advanced thinking in higher math."
"Catherine Good has experienced stereotype threat herself, although she didn't know it at the time. She started her academic career in pure math, expecting to get a Ph.D. But somewhere along the way she started to feel like it just wasn't for her, even though she was doing well in all her classes. Thinking that she'd just chosen the wrong application for her love of math, Good switched to math education, where she first encountered the idea of stereotype threat from a guest psychology speaker.
"As he talked about students feeling that they don't really belong, I had an epiphany," Good said. She realized the discomfort she'd felt studying mathematics had nothing to do with her ability or qualifications and everything to do with a vague sense that she didn't belong in a field dominated by men. Stereotype threat is a term coined by psychologists Joshua Aronson and Claude Steele. They found that pervasive cultural stereotypes that marginalize groups, like "girls aren't good at math," create a threatening environment and affects academic achievement.
Good was so fascinated by how powerful psychological forces can be on learning, including her own, that she switched fields again to study social psychology, and she ended up working closely with Carol Dweck for several years when Dweck's growth mindset work was in its early stages and not yet well-known among educators. Good now works at a psychology professor at Baruch College. Originally, Dweck and Good hypothesized that believing intelligence is flexible - what we now call a growth mindset - could protect students from stereotype threat, an inherently fixed idea."
"It has been one of my goals this year to make math authentic, when and where possible. To make it a hands-on, active, and practical. To not just be numbers on a page filled with hypothetical situations, but to have the problems come to life. It's not the only way we practice math but it is part of our repertoire.
My hope is that by making math real, when students do encounter the hypothetical, they will have a context for their understanding. They will see the relevance because they've experienced it.
One of the ways we have begun to do this is through sewing. As we go, the process of creating through sewing has brought many grade four curriculum expectations to life and provided many opportunities for prompting students' thinking."
I have a degree in math. I graduated college with honors. I got the highest score at my university on the Putnam exam, which is supposedly a big deal to get a non-zero score. I taught high school math for 14 years. I am the Queen of Spreadsheets. I code for fun and share my coding projects. I repeated the 4th grade due to math facts. After 2 years of 4th grade, I never passed the timed math tests.
If you ask me to do basic arithmetic in my head, even 7×8, I freeze. My heart races. I try to dodge the question. I'm perfectly capable.
I'm more inclined to use strategies when doing math problems than memorization. When I'm alone and tallying student scores on a paper, I do great. If I need to design a spreadsheet and apply math, I excel at that.
I am not alone. Reading Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler, for the first time in my life I realize
"Many educators are aware of Carol Dweck's research on growth mindset. The Stanford psychologist has found that the way students think about and approach challenge makes a big impact on their learning. Students who believe that they were born with a certain amount of intelligence that cannot be changed - a condition Dweck calls a fixed mindset - are often afraid to seek out challenging tasks and are resigned to one's perceived set of abilities. Students who see intelligence as something that can grow and change with effort - known as a growth mindset - tend to persist at difficult tasks, trying new strategies and ultimately performing better in school. Many schools have begun to focus on building growth mindsets in students because of this research.
Helping students develop growth mindsets is made even trickier because mindsets about learning can change depending on context. And unfortunately math class is a time when many students have preconceived notions about their abilities. Many adults, including teachers, grew up receiving negative messages about their math ability and can unintentionally pass on unhelpful messages to students through casual words or actions.
That's why it's impressive that educators at Two Rivers Charter School in Washington, D.C. recognized a culture of math fear among the staff and worked hard to change teachers' relationships to math as part of their broader strategy to improve math achievement. The school's Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Jeff Heyck-Williams, described their efforts in an Education Week article:"
"When it comes to building math mastery, it's easy to find app focused on math fluency; app stores are overflowing with them. But teachers looking for tools that build conceptual understanding are often left wanting. These tools can be tough to find. But not anymore. Below are 10 apps I use with my students. These apps let students practice number concepts such as one-to-one correspondence, regrouping, and even multiplication and division in developmentally appropriate ways. Many times these are more effective than physical manipulatives. Digital manipulatives can be broken apart, put back together and moved around in ways that are not possible with bags full of Base 10 Blocks and counters. The "aha" moments captured with these apps make lasting impressions on a child's mind, building a strong mathematical basis. Even better, teachers who have access to only one device can take advantage of these apps by using an Apple TV or reflecting software."
"Create Google Slides with a photo of where you see math. Share it. The idea here is quick and dirty. If it's a whole process of making elaborate lesson plans we won't do it. Create a plain white Google Slides presentation, add a picture and a slide with your thoughts on how you could challenge students to see math in the photo."
"Math Playground is a great website containing hundreds of mathematics games appropriate for K-8 students. I first reviewed the site back in 2008. Whenever I have returned to it since then, more games and other helpful features have been added to it.
Math Playground offers a huge variety of math games for students. You can locate games according to suggested grade level, by topic, or by question type. Students who need a refresher on a skill, can probably find one in Math Playground's video library. Math Playground's video library offers more than 100 instructional videos organized according to topic. To the right side of each video students will see some suggested games aligned to the topic covered in the instructional video."
"Growing up in L.A., Khalil Fuller was obsessed with basketball shoes. By age 13, he was running a sneaker company out of his closet, buying shoes low and selling them at a profit. In the process-as he calculated the profits that would eventually buy him a car-he also became obsessed with the real-world usefulness of math.
By high school, it was clear that most of his friends didn't feel the same way about algebra or statistics. His two best friends, after falling far behind in math, eventually dropped out of school. Fuller started tutoring other kids and had an epiphany: If he could connect math to something that a ninth grader cared about, maybe they'd actually want to study.
The idea eventually became NBA Math Hoops, a board game where kids play the part of basketball coaches, drafting players based on statistics and doing simple math to take each shot. Suddenly, math problems become interesting: Should the Warriors have Kevin Durant take a two-point shot within 15 feet of the basket, or Steph Curry pull up for a corner three?"
"Manipulatives are objects that allow learners to interact with mathematical concepts. The learner changes the manipulative in some way, and the manipulative provides informative feedback. Research suggests that using maniuplatives (physical or virtual) has a positive effect on student achievement. Check out how ST Math educators incorporate physical manipulatives with education technology to provide different ways to explore math concepts and facilitate deeper learning:"
"Learning math can be a great source of fun for kids. There is a wide variety of entertaining and interactive online games to use with your kids to introduce them to basic as well as intermediate mathematical concepts. As learning aids, games are proven to engage kids' attention and boost their interest in learning. To this purpose, and besides the multiple math resources we have shared here over the last couple of years, here is a very good collection of websites that provide games designed specifically to address kids mathematical needs."
" According to the latest EQAO report, half of Ontario Grade 6 students don't meet the curriculum standard in math. That's a problem. But it's not the only one.
What worries me is that only 13 per cent of students who didn't meet the provincial standard when they were in Grade 3 manage to catch up so they meet the standard for Grade 6. That's the lowest number on that indicator in five years.
If you fall behind in math you stay behind. That's why it's important to get it right, not just at some vague moment in the future, but for kids who are in Ontario schools right now.
Fortunately, every parent in Ontario is sure they know how to teach math. Many parents want to get rid of "discovery math," broadly defined as "doing it weird." If only that loopy Liberal government would teach math the way we learned it when we were kids, the theory goes, there'd be no problem.
Sure, great, except for one thing. Very few parents I've met can perform more than the most rudimentary arithmetic for themselves. If you all learned math so well, why do you inch toward Junior's algebra homework with a cross and a bulb of garlic?"
"A great way to encourage girls' interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields is by sharing stories starring girls and women who love science and technology! Seeing female faces as scientists, whether in the lab or out in the field, is a powerful message to girls that these subjects are open to all. And, while introducing them to real-life women in STEM through biographies is important, fictional stories showing science-loving girls and women are another excellent way to entice girls with the unlimited possibilities before them.
With that in mind, we're showcasing our favorite fictional books for both children and teens starring Mighty Girls who love science, engineering, and math. With options ranging from the fun and fanciful to the more contemplative, you're sure to discover a title to excite every budding scientist or engineer, girls and boys alike - after all, both need to learn that science is for everyone!"