Breaking the Cycle
The majority of elementary school teachers had negative experiences as math students, and many continue to dislike or avoid mathematics as adults. We’ll look at how we can better understand and support our colleagues, so they can reframe their personal relationships with math and teach better than they were taught.
Call to Action
- This is a collection of words mathematicians’ use when they talk about mathematics. Discuss it with your colleagues, making an extra effort to include everyone.
- Each person should choose a word that appeals most to him or her. It should be a word that’s not currently a big part of your math teaching and learning, but you wish it were.
- Using your colleagues as resources and collaborators, make the word you chose central to the planning, teaching, and learning of your next lesson. Don’t skimp on the conversation with your team–that’s part of the point!
- Teach the lesson. Afterwards, get back together with your colleagues and talk about it. What was different for each of you? What was different for your students?
- If it works for you, consider sharing the image and exploring it with your students as well. There are lots of possibilities here.
- Write a few paragraphs here so we can learn together. Describe what happened and what you learned. What ideas do you and your colleagues have for building on this exercise?
About the Speaker
Tracy is a fourth-grade teacher at heart. When her daughters came along, she gave up her own classroom to work with pre-service teachers and their in-service mentor teachers. After several years in adult education, she began field research for her upcoming book, Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had: Ideas and Strategies from Vibrant Classrooms (to be published in 2016 by Stenhouse Publishers). She also works with schools as a coach/consultant, and loves learning together with teachers and students over time.
Updated 2015 Apr 21: Livetweeting
Check out the collection on Storify.