This chapter provides research that supports the need for teachers to provide rich math activities for all students regardless of race, gender, or “math aptitude.” It’s also important that we don’t separate math students into gifted and not.
This next quote summarizes my thoughts exactly…
“The labeling of students as gifted hurts not only the students who are deemed as having no gifts but also the students who are given the gifted label, as it sets them on a fixed mindset pathway, making them vulnerable and less likely to take risks.” (Boaler, p. 94, 2016)
Hard work, persistence and a growth mindset are better judges of math success than speed and the ability to turn in homework.
My Big Takeaway
Provide rich math activities for all! All students are capable of doing higher level math.
Three Four Tips for me when working with my students
1. Avoid math groups that make it obvious that there are “levels” in my classroom
While small groups are crucial to teaching, the groups can be diverse and flexible so students don’t feel that they are in the “smart” group or in the “low” group.
2. Make math learning a positive learning experience
Girls especially need the message that they are capable of doing excellent math thinking.
3. While this is not an issue at my school, it can be repeated – get rid of advanced math and gifted programs
These programs send out the wrong message.
4. Oh and I have one more, no homework!
Students who might benefit the most don’t have ideal situations to complete and gain from it. Also homework causes unnecessary stress, less valuable time with family, and often doesn’t help students to understand math and will sometimes have the opposite effect because the homework can be uninspiring.
Thanks for reading and let’s revolutionize math learning!