Everywhere I look I see references to Back to School (there were signs in the shops before we even finished term!) and I know many of you are already back or about to begin term so I thought I’d post my updated ‘Resolutions for Mathematics Teachers’ earlier than originally planned.
All links have been checked and updated where necessary; in many cases the posts linked to have also been checked and updated with new additions.
To highlight some updates:
On gritty students, I have updated the blog post with a video where you can hear Carol Dweck talking about teachers and coaches developing a growth mindset in their students in an interview with Basketball School. Carol Dweck made a couple of points that struck me in particular, for teachers to develop a growth mindset in their students they need to develop their own growth mindset; do we ever judge our students too quickly? Also, such a useful reminder that we may sometimes worry too much about ‘teaching to the test’ when we just need to remember that ‘The outcomes are natural byproducts of engaging in good practice’.
A new reference to coding has been added. I recently came across CodeMonkey (a subject I will return too in later posts) which is a superb site for teaching coding and is easy to use for students of all ages. I have previously written about Scratch which also offers us the chance to get some coding into our Maths lessons. There are many topics where we can use a little coding including polygons and making the monkey walk about in all directions it struck me that this would be great for directed numbers!
I always try to use resources in class that interested students can then use themselves at home, hence the addition of the reference to Calculators and tools. When one of my very good students last year marched into the lesson and announced that she know the text answer was wrong because she had checked it on WolframAlpha I saw the impact of this strategy. She had been working on a problem and was confident in her methods but the text answer had a typo so she turned to WolframAlpha to check. There are so many excellent tools out there for students to explore and check their work, this can encourage their independence in learning.
A reference to ending lessons well has been added as I recently created a new slideshow on the subject.
My post on feedback was updated recently including the need to allow time to respond to feedback.
I learn much from reading various blogs and tweets and about teaching generally not just Mathematics, the reading pages here have been updated to include some favourite blogs on learning and teaching relevant for teachers of any subject. On the subject of reading, have a look at the addition of Nix the Tricks to the Free Books page.
If you have just returned or are about to return to school then I wish you a brilliant year. If you are still on holiday I hope you are having a well deserved rest…but maybe there are a few useful thoughts here for you when your thought return to school!