I have been a fan of Jo Boaler for awhile. I was first introduced to her through her book What's math got to do with it? She advocates for changing math education to reach more students and help more students become successful. Jo Boaler currently runs youcubed.org which focuses on having a growth mindset. Here are some take away from her presentation.
- Every child can excel (not just learn) math.
- Schools decide who can and can't do math an an early age (This has always been one of my pet peeves. If a child wants to take an advanced math class and is willing to work, why should we stop him/her!)
- The times we are challenged and struggling are the most beneficial times to learn
- MISTAKES GROW YOUR BRAIN (I think this will be my motto for the coming school year)
- Our message to students should be "I am giving you this feedback because I believe in you."
- Speed, time, and pressure stop the brain from working
- We need to stop associating math with speed--we turn away many students.
- Students think that being good at math means being right
- Students should use their fingers in math (I still use my fingers when I add and subtract.)
I want to take her presentation and really live it as a math teacher this year. I want my students to feel confident that can be successful at math. Math was always my hardest subject and it really wasn't until I took College Algebra that I understood any Algebra or until I had to study to take the GRE that I felt I had any type of number sense. I am still not the best, but I know that I will continue to learn and get better. I try to convey this message to my students every year and hopefully this year I can be more successful at it.
What have you done in your classroom to help more students feel they can successful at math?