Tuesday, 31 January 2017

One word 2017

A new year is synonymous with New Years resolutions that are never followed through. This year I came across the #onewordtrend2017. Rather than a a new years resolution i would find a New Years word.

One of my words for 2017 will be resilience. 

Resilience because I believe it is one of the most important things we need to teach our students 
Resilience as the new PLD environment means navigating uncharted waters.

Jo Boaler's setting up positive norms in the maths classroom offers a kete of ideas for building belief and developing resilience in students. 

In the document these 7 key ideas are shared with supporting strategies to help set students up for a year of successful learning

1. Everyone Can Learn Math to the Highest Levels. Encourage students to believe in themselves. There is no such thing as a “math” person. Everyone can reach the highest levels they want to, with hard work. 

2. Mistakes are Valuable Mistakes grow your brain! It is good to struggle and make mistakes. 

3. Questions are Really Important Always ask questions, always answer questions. Ask yourself: why does that make sense? 

4. Math is about Creativity and Making Sense Math is a very creative subject that is, at its core, about visualising patterns and creating solution paths that others can see, discuss and critique. 

5. Math is about Connections and Communicating Math is a connected subject, and a form of communication. Represent math in different forms eg words, a picture, a graph, an equation, and link them. Colour code! 

6. Depth is much more important than Speed Top mathematicians, such as Laurent Schwartz, think slowly and deeply. 

7. Math Class is about Learning not Performing Math is a growth subject, it takes time to learn and it is all about effort.

I particularly liked one of the ideas from #2, Mistakes are OK

To illustrate that mistakes are valuable  get students to
  1. screw up a piece of paper and throw it at the board with the feeling they have when they make a mistake.  
  2. retrieve the paper and colour in all the lines. 

Tell them how these lines represent synapses firing and brain growth from making a mistake. 
Have them keep the piece of paper in their maths books or put them on the wall as a reminder  

What will your one word be ?

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