Lessons That Count

January 2021 - EUPISD Monthly Math Instruction Newsletter

Mathematics education is identity work. Learners are always positioning themselves with respect to the doing of mathematics, their sense of themselves and their communities, and their futures.

Rochelle Gutierrez "The Sociopolitical Turn in Mathematics Education"

Motivation Series - Part 1: Belongingness

As a math instructional coach, I’m in many classrooms, and I get to witness lots of math instruction. I find that there are similar qualities among the classrooms that are really thriving—and those qualities quite often don’t really have much to do with math. In the book, "Motivated", Ilana Seidel Horn identifies those qualities as belongingness, meaningfulness, competence, accountability, and autonomy.

In the next five newsletters, I will describe each of these qualities and share ways to incorporate them into your math instruction.

Belongingness: When students experience frequent, pleasant interactions with the sense that others are concerned about who they are and for their well-being.

Learning math can be tough. Belongingness provides a basis for persevering through the difficulties associated with solving problems. When students feel connected in the classroom, the difficulty that is a necessary component to understanding math will feel less like a personal threat and more like a natural part of learning.

Horn says that belongingness is “fostered through authentic connections.” Taking time to build a sense of friendship and family grounded in plenty of shared experiences will help students develop the confidence and motivation they need to do the hard work that comes in learning math.

Below are three strategies that can be used at any grade level to help students build a sense of belongingness during math instruction.

COVID Response Resources for Math Instruction

Below is a list of resources to assist teachers with planning around the impact the COVID pandemic has had on our students


High School

Math Recovery / AVMR Resources

Number Sense Math Puzzles

Creator: Julie Bazinau

If you would like support with any of the items mentioned in this month's letter or assistance with a current situation you have with math instruction please call or email me. I am happy to set up a Zoom meeting with you.

Happy New Year!