5 Growth Mindset Books Every Math Teacher Should Read

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5 Growth Mindset Books Every Math Teacher Should Read

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Are you ready to help your kids think about and learn math with a growth mindset?

By teaching your students to embrace mistakes as learning opportunities, persevere through challenging problems, and focus on growth over final results, you are empowering them to excel inside and outside of the classroom.

Achieving a growth mindset requires a purposeful and well-planned strategy to ensure that your students consistently hear the right messages, receive meaningful feedback, and engage in learning opportunities that help develop this new way of thinking. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you create a classroom environment that supports learning with a growth mindset. Whether you teach elementary, middle, or high school math students, the following books will give you all the tools you need to start changing students' attitudes and mindsets for learning and making math more open and exciting for every child.


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Summary: After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.


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Summary: Mathematical Mindsets provides practical strategies and activities to help teachers and parents show all children, even those who are convinced that they are bad at math, that they can enjoy and succeed in math. Jo Boaler—Stanford researcher, professor of math education, and expert on math learning—has studied why students don't like math and often fail in math classes. She's followed thousands of students through middle and high schools to study how they learn and to find the most effective ways to unleash the math potential in all students.


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Summary: The Growth Mindset Coach is a complete and easy-to-follow guide for inspiring every student with the power of a growth mindset Created by teachers for teachers, this is the ultimate guide for unleashing students’ potential through creative lessons, empowering messages and innovative teaching. The Growth Mindset Coach provides all you need to foster a growth mindset classroom, including a month-by-month program, research-based activities, hands-on lesson plans, real-life educator stories, constructive feedback, and sample parent letters.
 


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Looking for fun ways to get your kids WRITING about math?


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Summary: What does it take to be a good mathematics teacher who actively engages students and addresses learning differences? Gain a mental picture of an effective mathematics learning environment and why it must be founded on growth mindset principles. This easy-to-read text breaks down the complex components of mathematics teaching and divides them into practical strategies. Combining mathematics research, useful tactics, and examples from K–6 classrooms, the book includes reflection questions, action tasks, and activities to inspire and engage mathematical minds.


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Summary: When students believe that dedication and hard work can change their performance in school, they grow to become resilient, successful students. Inspired by the popular mindset idea that hard work and effort can lead to success, this updated edition of Mindsets in the Classroom provides educators with ideas for ways to build a growth mindset school culture, wherein students are challenged to change their thinking about their abilities and potential. The book includes a planning template, step-by-step description of a growth mindset culture, and "look-fors" for adopting a differentiated, responsive instruction model teachers can use immediately in their classrooms.  

Looking for more fun math resources to share with your kids? Click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel and access our free video library--and don't forget to subscribe!

Have more growth mindset book suggestions for your fellow math teachers? Join the conversation and share yours in the comments section below.

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By Anthony Persico

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Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

 
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Here's an Awesome Way to Teach Kids Fractions

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Here's an Awesome Way to Teach Kids Fractions

 
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Are you looking for strategies to help your kids understand equivalent fractions this school year?

Creating fraction kits is a great way to get your kids exploring equivalent fractions and acquiring a deep, conceptual understanding of the topic.

The video below demonstrates how to create a fraction kit; it was designed to serve as a follow-along activity:

Materials: construction paper, markers, scissors, and a ruler.

Looking for the corresponding lesson guide? click here to download yours

By Anthony Persico

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Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

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Number Sense: The Key to Helping Kids Actually ‘Get’ Math

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Number Sense: The Key to Helping Kids Actually ‘Get’ Math

 
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Are your kids struggling to grasp challenging concepts in math?

Many students struggle due to a lack of number sense—the ability to use a variety of strategies to solve math problems.      

And without this ability to think about mathematics in flexible and creative ways, your kids may never be able to truly understand math, instead relying on ineffective practices such as memorization and excessive repetition just to “get by.”

Number sense can be thought of as “having an intuitive relationship with numbers” says Lisa Wilson Carboni of UNC’s School of Education. She believes that students with a deep understanding of math know more than how to use a formula or calculate an answer—they know how to think and reason mathematically, perform mental calculations, use a variety of strategies, make reasonable estimations, justify solutions, and apply their skills to complex situations that relate to real life.

So, how can you help your kids develop number sense? You can start by providing them with opportunities to solve problems in a variety of flexible and creative ways.

One focus that I implement daily with my students is learning to calculate mentally by solving mental math strings. These mental math strings force students to make five mental computations to arrive at the solution. Students are forced to move away from using procedural mathematics, and towards thinking more creatively about mathematics.  I often do “call-outs” such as “What is “the square of 6?”, “What is 0.35 in percent form?”, “What is the sum of 128 and 9?" 

Another activity for developing number sense is group work where students have the opportunity for mathematical discourse and exposure to different ways of solving problems. Teachers can help students learn to make these connections by having students share their approaches. 

By discussing with problem-solving strategies with students, they learn to evaluate their own reasoning and to justify their solutions. It also provides you with invaluable formative assessment of your students’ strengths, weaknesses, misunderstandings, misconceptions, and content knowledge.

Providing your students with opportunities to solve a variety of estimation problems is another strategy for building creative problem solving and a deeper understanding of mathematics. Estimation problems are a quick easy way to provide students with creative problem-solving activities. I bring in containers of different candies and have students estimate how many are in the container. Oftentimes, students begin simply by guessing but eventually, they begin to use a variety of strategies to help make a more precise estimation, especially when the student with the most precise answer wins a prize.

If your goal is to prepare your students to use math in the real world, then relying on stand-alone problems is not an option. Kids need to be exposed to solving math problems in a variety of flexible and creative ways in order to develop number sense and truly grasp mathematics.

By Sheila Gfell

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Why Every Teacher Should Learn to Say 'No'

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Why Every Teacher Should Learn to Say 'No'

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“What you don’t do determines what you can do!” –Tim Ferriss

Here's a fact: Dedicated teachers are in short supply and students, parents and administrators are masters of—often unfairly— squeezing every last drop of energy from them.

Here's another fact:  You have the right to say 'no' to unreasonable requests without feeling guilty!

It's true that teaching is an inherently selfless profession and many view themselves as servants to their students, schools, and communities.

It's also true that well-balanced students have well-balanced teachers. 

Saying 'no' is never easy. You want to do everything that you can to make a positive impact on your students and your school. In Kenny Nguyen's TED Talk, The Art of Saying No, the practice of declining certain requests is the key to saying yes to others. If you have set priorities for your students and yourself and expect to get through the school year with your stamina and sanity intact, then you simply can not say 'yes' to every request. 

Great teachers, of course, are team players, and saying 'no' sometimes won't change that. Know your limits and never feel guilty about putting a cap on how far you're willing to extend yourself.

Otherwise, like many teachers often do, you can fall victim to exhaustion and burnout towards the middle/end of the school year, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, unhappy, and ineffective.

You just may find out that saying 'no' more often prepares you for the perfect times to say 'yes'!

Do you think it's important for teachers to learn to say 'no' more often? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

(Never miss a Mashup Math blog--click here to get our weekly newsletter!)

By Anthony Persico

Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

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21 Back to School Tips Every Teacher Needs

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21 Back to School Tips Every Teacher Needs

You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but—well you know where this is going.

Free from the seemingly endless demands of full-time teaching—and hopefully in a state of rest and relaxation—you now have the luxury of reflecting on the past year and considering ways to better meet the needs of your next group of kiddos.

If you’ve ever had to teach the same courses over and over again, then you know that teaching “on repeat” gets old quickly.

The fun of being an educator comes from the constant challenges and the endless opportunities to be creative and to further master your craft.

Like her students, a great teacher is a lifelong learner. Always growing. Learning from mistakes. And inching closer to the best version of herself that she can possibly be.

Whether you want to honestly evaluate your performance last school year, engage in online professional development, finally attend that conference, dabble in that new teaching trend that you keep hearing about, or just want to lead a more balanced teaching life, then you’re in the right place.

The following list (each a chapter from the book 21 Back to School Tips Every Teacher Needs) is a great way to focus your thinking. To go more in-depth on any topic, download the full PDF eBook here.

1.) Reflect on what you did well the past school year.

Looking for guided reflection strategies?

2.) Identify your weaknesses

Do you need help evaluating your performance?

3.) Apply strengths to improving weaknesses

How can teachers maximize their strengths?

4.) Make a plan.

How can you establish teaching goals and hold yourself accountable?

5.) Take time to relax and recharge.

How can you give yourself permission to relax?

7.) Attend a conference.

How can you finally attend that awesome conference without paying out of pocket?

8.) Participate in Twitter chats.

How can teachers build a PLN using Twitter chats?

10.) Get better at saying "no!"

Do you know how to say "no" without feeling guilty?

13.) Consider a new approach to homework.

Looking to tweak your approach to homework this year?



14.) Consider flipping your classroom.

Are you ready to experiment with flipping this year?

Looking for an in-depth discussion on all 21 topics? You can now download my PDF eBook 21 Back to School Tips Every Teacher Needs for only $4.99!

By Anthony Persico

Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

 
 

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