I’m going to start with saying I am a huge fan of Jo Boaler! Her work and resources are transforming how I teach math. If you haven’t tried the Week of Inspirational Math with your students do so now! The work it did around our mathematical mindset was great, it was exploratory, playful and hands on. I’ve opened up conversations through videos about what really matters in math and directly addresses the myth that speed and being fast at math makes you good at it. My class spent the first full week of school working through the Week of Inspirational math and it’s making a difference, we framed math as something positive, something we can all engage with. We discussed the idea of struggle and that the struggle point, where we get stuck and have to keep practicing is where the most learning happens.
something that jumped out to me in this article was the clarification of Dweck’s point that growth minds set did not just equate to effort that it was student’s range of strategies and the ability to ask for help when needed that helped them build their growth mindset and be successful. I liked the author’s comparison to working on a physical skill, that our growth mindset needs to be developed the way we would work on cycling skills or shooting baskets. I often use the same analogy in my math lessons that we practice our math skills just like we do shooting baskets or power skating ( I have a lot of hockey boys).
The title of this initially caught my eye. My school works on a character trait of the month each month and one we chose for later this year is positivity, having noticed that our students need some practice with it. The article discusses that positivity isn’t always rainbows and sunshine, it’s knowing that we have hope and can move forward. I really like the idea of celebrating small wins and the steps forward. The small wins add up to big wins. I think the idea of positivity connects to growth mindset because when we are thinking positively and looking for the growth, celebrating small wins we are building our growth mindset. If we do this as leaders in our schools in any capacity we can hopefully influence those around us to do so as well.