Culturally Responsive Math
Making Math Count in WHPS
What does it mean to be culturally responsive in our math instruction?
There are four elements that work together to create a culturally responsive math environment:
Supporting Deep Mathematical Learning
Engaging and Valuing Students' Identities
Communication is an important part of cultural identity. Strive to build upon the students' communication skills and strengths. Allow students to informally discuss math ideas and learning, then introduce the academic language to explain the understanding. This allows all students to participate and they feel their voice is important to the learning conversation. Ellis identifies the following questions to consider as you work to develop positive student identities:
Sharing Authority: Inclusive, Collaborative Norms and Routines
You want to create opportunities for students to be the authors of their own learning in mathematics. One example is creating a reasoning wall where students can choose to share their mathematical thinking about a problem. This wall can be a resource for the class as they solve future problems. Routines such as Number Talks allow students to share their quantitative reasoning. Other routines that promote student efficacy in constructing understanding are collaborative conversations, choice over problems to solve, materials to use, or products to show understanding. Technology can assist in giving students authority through sharing of ideas and strategies with SeeSaw or choosing an assignment from Google Classroom. Learning is not a choice, but how students engage with the math or show understanding can be a choice. Here are questions from Ellis to consider as you plan for sharing authority:
Using Mathematics to Investigate Meaningful Situations
- Off Season - 26 weeks a year - we buy about 65 (3) gallon tubs a week, or 195 gallons
- On Season - 26 weeks a year - we buy about 125 (3) gallon tubs a week, or 375 gallons
- Each 3 gallon tub weighs about 15 lbs, each gallon about weighs about 5 lbs.
There are so many math problems that can emerge from these facts!
Eliis suggests the following questions as you are planning for culturally relevant problem solving: