TAKE AWAY FROM A MORNING LEARNING WITH the MAINE MATH and SCIENCE ALLIANCE
For me, this means really noticing my mindset. For much of my teaching career, I was a firm believer in multiple intelligences and used my fixed mindset to interpret that to support the belief that there were "math" people and there are "literacy" people. As a student, I always struggled in math and because I was slow to memorize and compute, I was often told by well meaning adults, "You aren't a math person....stick with books and you'll be fine." I went on to perpetuate this belief with many of my students who displayed similar struggles as I did in school; truly believing I was validating their struggle by steering them in a different direction; to something that came more "naturally" or easily to them. In recent years, with the advent of research on brain based learning and learning about "GROWTH MINDSET" I've seen the limitations that this fixed way of thinking placed on myself and on the students I "encouraged' in this way.
In today's math classrooms, it's really important that we as educators begin to shift our mindset to know that EVERYONE is a Mathematician.
We need to take steps to help children in our classrooms find and define their math selves and show them that there is room for all types of math personalities at the table.
At Thursday's conference, I learned the phrase "Shared mathematical authority". This means that every student in the room and you share the responsibility for "knowing" math and seeking understanding and trying to be "good" at it. The 8 mathematical practices are the doorways to this authority. Don't close them for students by steering them away from the struggle they need to go through to develop their own understandings of challenging content. Those doors aren't reserved for those who "get it" or can "explain it" on the first try or the fastest among us. Everyone can do math. How is this belief reflected in your classroom practices and culture?