# This Is How I Want to Learn ...

### An Ideal Environment for Learning Mathematics

## The Environment as the Third Teacher

In the Third Teacher http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/CBS_ThirdTeacher.pdfit states “A classroom that is functioning successfully as a third teacher will be responsive to the children’s interests, provide opportunities for children to make their

thinking visible and then foster further learning and engagement.” (Susan Fraser 2012, p. 67).

The math Curriculum is not just the math processes and skills that are to be learned , but what the students see on the walls and texts, and how students interact with the learning space they are in. Mathematics can be seen all around them.

## ManipulativesStudents who are able to access manipulatives that reflect their learning needs are more likely to use them. Student generated manipulatives can have more meaning rather than store bought and here, the students see themselves as part of the tools of learning! These manipulatives serve a dual purpose: attendance and counting. | ## Math in the CommunitySeeing how math is used by parents and other community members sends a message that it is relevant and meaningful. Why not have a wall of real life math where interviews with community members, or relevant math articles from the newspaper can be displayed? Students can generate math problems from what they see in the world around them. | ## Access to Interactive TechnologyInteractive technology appeals to the differentiated styles of learners. It allows students to manipulate, demonstrate and visually add to mathematical thinking. Interactive technology can also be used to demonstrate higher order thinking skills through problem solving. |

## Manipulatives

Students who are able to access manipulatives that reflect their learning needs are more likely to use them. Student generated manipulatives can have more meaning rather than store bought and here, the students see themselves as part of the tools of learning! These manipulatives serve a dual purpose: attendance and counting.

## Math in the Community

Seeing how math is used by parents and other community members sends a message that it is relevant and meaningful. Why not have a wall of real life math where interviews with community members, or relevant math articles from the newspaper can be displayed? Students can generate math problems from what they see in the world around them.

## Access to Interactive Technology

Interactive technology appeals to the differentiated styles of learners. It allows students to manipulate, demonstrate and visually add to mathematical thinking. Interactive technology can also be used to demonstrate higher order thinking skills through problem solving.

## Collaborative LearningThe environment should allow for students to work together to build their learning. Collaborative learning allows students to probe each other's thinking and respectfully challenge ideas. True collaboration builds a constructivist classroom where students are constructing knowledge together with the facilitation of the teacher. | ## Clear AssessmentUsing a bansho is one way to make assessment explicit. Students who are able to view the processes of thinking as well as the product will have more access to feedback that can bump up their learning. Feedback can then result in a guided math group or a more challenging activity. | ## Scaffolding ThinkingAn ideal mathematics classroom would allow for all learners to access the curriculum using tools to scaffold thinking. This can include iPads, other assistive technology, peer coaching or math games. Providing students with multiple ways to learn mathematics is beneficial as they can use multiple learning styles to access content knowledge. |

## Collaborative Learning

The environment should allow for students to work together to build their learning. Collaborative learning allows students to probe each other's thinking and respectfully challenge ideas. True collaboration builds a constructivist classroom where students are constructing knowledge together with the facilitation of the teacher.

## Clear Assessment

Using a bansho is one way to make assessment explicit. Students who are able to view the processes of thinking as well as the product will have more access to feedback that can bump up their learning. Feedback can then result in a guided math group or a more challenging activity.

## Scaffolding Thinking

An ideal mathematics classroom would allow for all learners to access the curriculum using tools to scaffold thinking. This can include iPads, other assistive technology, peer coaching or math games. Providing students with multiple ways to learn mathematics is beneficial as they can use multiple learning styles to access content knowledge.

## Math Word WallStudents who are able to clearly see what the learning is, and the language that is being used, will hopefully feel less anxious as the environment will support their learning. Mathematics is not a mystery then but infused into their learning space. Students can learn to independently access what they need to know to be successful. |

## Math Word Wall

Students who are able to clearly see what the learning is, and the language that is being used, will hopefully feel less anxious as the environment will support their learning. Mathematics is not a mystery then but infused into their learning space. Students can learn to independently access what they need to know to be successful.