Jo Boaler, the Stanford professor behind YouCubed.org, works hard to dispel fixed mindsets about math. She recently shared a video from the 2015 YouCubed summer camp in which her students show their enthusiasm for problem solving and their willingness to learn from their mistakes.
For those of us trying to promote a Growth Mindset, particularly regarding math, this video is a great resource. I also encourage you to take a look at the YouCubed.org website for more great materials, including the “Week of Inspirational Math,” which would be a great way to start off your school year.
Stanford University’s Jo Boaler over at YouCubed.org has just released a set of free lesson plans that can be used for 5 days with any grade level from 3rd through 12th. This “Week of Inspirational Math” includes videos, handouts, and Powerpoints. As they progress through the activities, students develop a Growth Mindset when thinking about math, and are encouraged to think in multiple ways about problems. The first lesson even includes an activity that fosters collaboration amongst their peers.
“Week of Inspirational Math” would be great to use at the beginning of the year, as it will set a tone for learning in class that can be applied to all subjects. To access the plans, you will need to register for free with YouCubed. However, it’s a small price to pay for an excellent set of activities that will start your year right.
No one was more surprised than I was when I won the Honors Geometry medal in high school. For the first 8 years of school I accepted the incontrovertible fact that I was “not a math person.” Reading and writing came easily to me, and I was often praised in those areas – but math homework often resulted in tears of frustration and papers full of holes from too many erasures.
Everything changed in high school. My teachers encouraged me and were patient with my questions. I grew bolder with those questions because I was attending an all-girls school and felt less intimidated by the boys who always dominated math class with their speedy mental math in my early years.
I suddenly realized that I loved math.
Fortunately, that revelation didn’t happen too late.
You can make sure your own students don’t suffer from the same math identity crisis. From @naomiharm I learned there is a website called “youcubed” that is devoted to making everyone a “math person.” It provides math resources to educators, students and parents. One section is devoted to “Growth Mindset.” If you have no time to browse any other section (though I encourage you to do so), I urge you to download the “Positive Classroom Norms” by Jo Boaler. These 7 messages are a great way to develop a growth mindset in your math students.
If you download the packet, you will receive a page explaining each norm in-depth (some of them include links to videos) as well as a summary page you can post in your classroom.