Day 91: Mathematical Mindsets
As part of my instructional coaching duties, I offer various PLC’s throughout the year. I am really excited about this one: Mathematical Mindsets based on Jo Boaler’s new book. I read Carol Dweck’s Mindsets book this summer (and did a book study with a colleague) where I wanted to try to incorporate some of the principles in my classes. However, I found it challenging at times to find the right venue to share, re-enforce and deepen students understanding of their mindsets. Also, I was struggling with using the vocabulary and verbiage that supports a growth mindset.
Along came Jo Boaler’s book that specifically talks about the mindset aspects in mathematics. One idea I found particularily interesting is compression, which basically says that people can compress conceptual ideas after a bit of intellectual struggling with them, whereas procedural methods are simply not compressible. you can make room in your brain by connecting concepts but process and memorization doeesn’t necessarily link to compress. More about that idea later.
If you get a chance, I think this book is a must read for mathematics teachers (especially secondary teachers) because we often forget (or don’t recognize) how important it is to teach and value all of the ways a student can approach a problem.