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  • George Garza

    April 15, 2020 at 1:31 am

    It really is about culture. As the adult in the room, your leaners will value what you do. If you value the messy explorations, the thinking outloud and the explanations, so will they. Just keep in mind that there are a myriad of ways to tell the learners what you value, your words being only one way you are communicating.

    If you don’t always get around to making some learners explain their thinking, they learn that you want them to, but it’s not THAT important. You need to move beyond making the learners feel empowered to try, rather you need to make them feel like it’s expected that they try, and make mistakes. It’s expected that they won’t always have the words to explain their thinking. It’s not just okay to stumble and trip, it’s celebrated as a growth opportunity. If you read Jo Boalers work she spends a lot of time talking about these things.

    It IS a hard thing to do, because they will likely have come from years of hearing the message that the ONLY think valued in math class is the correct answer. You have to reprogram them, but kids are smart, and after pushing to find out how serious you are, they will join in.

    I’m a fairly new teacher, but these are things I have observed and read. I’ve seen it’s true in relation to my kids, and in relation to my learners.