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Lesson 11: Discussion Prompt
Stephanie Pritchett updated 3 days, 6 hours ago 127 Members · 210 Posts 
What are three (3) things you want your students to remember about your math class 5 years from now?

Math is interesting.
Relationships, not rules.
Math is everywhere.

Beautiful. Relationships, not rules is one that really jumps out at me from your reflection. Thanks for sharing!

Agreed! I wrote something similar – the “why” not just the “how”



1. Math is fun and does not discriminate.
2. It’s okay to make a mistake, and if I can balance my bank statement I’m doing okay.
3. Learning fast is not as important as learning deeply, especially if I’m in construction, medicine, or the food preparation industry.

Great ideas shared here! Are there ways you’re currently trying to build this thinking / perspective in your classroom now?


Critical thinking/analyzing real word problems whether they are math related or not
Perseverance
Multiple pathways to the answer

Do you feel that students also see math this way? Are there ways we could help them to see / perceive math in the same light?


A wow experience – learning something cool about math.
It was fun.
Learn math they can confidently use in everyday life because they learned and understood math at school.

1. That math makes sense and is a connected subject.
2. Math is useful in the world, but even if you remove its usefulness to the world, at its most basic level, math is an exercise to build your brain power.
3. I value the thought process more than the answer. Wrong answers are greater than or equal to right answers.

Start to see mathematics in the world around them.
“I CAN do mathematics” mindset
Take risks tried problems even when unsure of the answer

Hey folks,
Great ideas so far! I’m seeing a lot of “real world” responses @Bob @gretchen @amy.fletcher I too want to show my students how math connects the world around us. But I often wonder if students want this benefit as well? For example, video games are not real world but students (and adults) play them. So is real worldness a necessary component to learning math? I wonder if it’s more about seeing a purpose. I’m not sure that’s exactly the same thing. What are your thoughts?

I agree, “real world” is such a slippery slope. That’s why I always try to get them with the idea that the biggest idea is not necessarily the content that I teach, but rather the ability to learn in general. School is about learning how to learn.

I agree…when asked ‘when will I ever learn this’ my favorite answer is that we will always be faced with situations where we need to learn new items or want to learn something new and by training our brain to learn new items, including math, in school, they will be able to do that outside of school.

Great points, friends! I am also a supporter of “learning how to learn” and building up the connections in our brains so we are ready for anything life might throw at us.
I am also thinking about why students ask that question in the first place and often it seems to happen when students are confused or unable to see a connection. This makes me want to work harder to spark curiosity and ensure intentional connections are made during the consolidation via mathematical models.



1) what I want students to think “I am good at Maths.”
Why? Success breads motivation. Successful students become motivated.
2) Complex problems can be broken down into simpler tasks.
Why? Good life/maths skill
Planning a party, cars broken down, project management – all need this skill
3) If it’s a complex problem I’m not dumb if I can’t do it in my head.
Why? We can only hold up to 7 pieces of information in our head. Accepting writing things down as part of the process is extremely important.

Great points here. Extending your third point for students to feel comfortable brainstorming on paper is so important. In particular, explicitly highlighting for students that a solution shouldn’t begin neat and tidy. Learning is messy and that messiness should be supported to encourage real problem solving to take place.


I want my students to remember that:
1. Mistakes are a crucial part of learning
2. Math is everywhere, sometimes surprisingly so
3. Being able to explain your thinking is more important that getting the right answer the first time.

Awesome! I wonder what we might be able to do in order to help students understand and truly believe these ideas in our classrooms?


*If you are willing to work, then you can get/do anything
*Making mistakes helps us to learn as long as you don’t give up
*Showing & explaining work/steps/thoughtprocess is beneficial

1. I really like doing math with my friends. We learned so much from each other.
2. The math was so interesting and challenging with so many ways to an answer.
3. My mistakes never stopped me from trying. My mistakes led to understanding.

I would like my students to remember (a) at least one strategy they can use to solve a problem when they do not know the “rules of the game” (i.e. sketch, use easier numbers, think of a similar problem they soved before), (b) a feeling of fun when solving problems and the wait time in that – not just the quick end correct answer and (c) the enjoyment of putting oyur ideas out there and having them built upon rather than being the one ith the “right answer” all the time.

1.) They were pushed to a challenging place and looked forward to it.
2.) They always had support around them.
3.) It was interesting and relatable.

1. That they are capable of thinking mathematically
2. That math contexts are all around them
3. Solving math problems with understanding is fun!

1. don’t be afraid to ask questions
2. math is useful
3. it’s fun to struggle and eventually to figure something out

Here are some notices around posts so far
Themes in…
Math is a Community: @johngaspari4396 @teresa.corbo
Math is Fun: @amy.fletcher @Trina.gratrix @michelle.grebe
Mistakes are necessary: @gail.offsteinsajo @Bob @trina.gratrix

1. Math is a way of thinking, not steps to follow.
2. It’s ok to not know something at first, as long as we don’t give up
3. If you can’t explain to someone your thinking, how much do you truly understand something.

1. Math is fair and impartial – everyone can do it
2. Math teacher was my guide – I was the thinker and doer
3. Math is about curiosity and resiliency

1. “My teacher cared about me and believed in me.”
2. “I can figure out challenging problems.”
3. “Math is fun and useful.”

1. It is okay to make mistakes because the process leads to your brain growing larger especially if you have a growth mindset.
2. It is okay to ask, “Why?”.
3. It is okay to try different methods to solve a problem that are different then your parents, teacher, math book or classmates.

I would want kids to think of their math class in 5 years to remember the following ideas.
1. Math is a result of hundreds of years of discovery
2. The discoveries are creative and innovative for their time
3. We are not fixed on our perceptual abilities or inabilities in math

Great shares, friends!
In the last couple responses I love that the message of productive struggle, perseverance and resiliency is really shining through. Also, how important it is for students to KNOW their teachers believe in them. Fantastic!

1 Even if its not at the first time, i want they to know that making and effort and persevering they can learn what ever they want or need to learn. That they can be confident with themselves.
2 I want they to know that they are able to thing in their day live and that they can solve problems just thinking about them.
3 That math I no a magic trick or a lots of rules to remember.

1. That math is a language that describes our world around us.
2. Math is fun and interesting when used to solve problems.
3. When used in context, math is meaningful.
We’ve also been doing a lot of work on mathematical mindsets, so persevering and using positive learning language is so important!

Thinking mathematically is a skill that can be improved with time and practise.
Taking on a challenge can be fun and rewarding.
Everyone is a mathematician.

Struggle is good and failure is best; that’s where I grow my thinking and understanding. I can do math. I am a mathematician.

1. That they can learn Math
2. Mistakes happen and you can fix them.
3. More than one way to learn.

1 – show students the “why” it works, not just the “how” to do it
What comes to mind is Completing the Square – I could easily just give the kids the formula, but would rather they got the opportunity to see why the process works.
2 – it takes time to learn
I’ve been using Interleaving and Spacing in my math classrooms this year to show students I believe in giving them time to digest the content before moving forward
3 – growth, not perfection
I want students to leave class with the idea that they can improve, even if that means not having the highest mark in the group. Progress is worth celebrating!

It is awesome reading all of these. So great to hear the positive message that math understanding and skills can be grown to negate the math myth!

Mistakes are good.
Math is hard work and you can do it.
Math happens in the real world and the experiences of class brought that to light.

Math is fun.
There is no such thing as I am a math person.
Math is everywhere.

You can play with math to find relationships.
Math has everyday connections.
We learned how to think about math.

Math can be relatable and relevant to everyone; everyone can draw connections/find solutions in their own ways. It is a part of so much of what we do and already enjoy everyday!
Anyone can learn to think like a mathematician, it is a skill of perseverance and coping that can apply to problem solving in math and in life!
Learning math can be fun, noncompetitive, and interdependent

Reading these posts often brings me a smile! So many great “math class takeaways” Keep coming back here to look these over folks if times get tough.

I want students to remember that they are powerful problem solvers. There might be something familiar, something solvable, under the architecture of a chaotic, confusing, unjust world.

Fantastic! We too want to empower ALL students to unleash their amazing potential through problem solving. We can do this!


A positive feeling about their Maths ability – positive self talk, feeling capable
An impression that Maths makes SENSE
Can’t think of a 3rd one!

mistakes are an important part of learning
math is all around us
perseverance until reaching their goal

Math is more than just steps to follow!
Math is all around us!
Math should be productive struggle and that is a good thing!

The relevance of math in everyday life
You learn most from making mistakes
Multiple ways to arrive at the correct answer

1) Math makes sense – it’s not just a set of rules
2) There are many ways to solve problems
3) It’s OK (and good) to try things different ways.

1) Math is a fun class.
2) Math is more about the process and thinking than about an answer
3) I can do math and it is for my benefit
 This reply was modified 3 days, 6 hours ago by Stephanie Pritchett.

Susan I like your 3 remembers. I am a math special ed teacher and I relate!