Minds on Numeracy


  • Positive Mathematical Mindsets
  • Mathematical Processes
  • Doing Some Math :)

Positive Mathematical Mindsets


Millionaire Math

Take a minute, and tell someone what you thought about this clip...

  • Was the task too hard for her?
  • Did she actually know how to do it?
  • Did she want to be successful?
  • What made it difficult?

"I'm so bad at math!!!"

  • This statement is often said by students, parents, and teachers
  • Whether we believe it or not, it is counter-productive
  • Many studies (Dweck, Boaler, Meyer) show that math is learned - not inherited
  • At a young age, we develop a "mindset" towards math
  • Admitting you're bad at math is often an avoidance technique
  • Believing you're bad at something makes the task immensely more difficult

Changing the Mindset

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The Way We Talk To Students

Carol Dweck - A Study on Praise and Mindsets

Take A Minute And Tell Someone What You Thought About The Clip

  • Impact on Students
  • Impact on Teachers
  • Impact on Parents
  • Impact on classroom
  • Impact on the system

The Way We Talk To Ourselves

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Mathematical Processes

  • Why are these important?
  • How can we all utilize them together?
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Doing Some Math :)

Problem 1 - Bike Rates

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  1. How do you know that Jesse is moving faster than 12km per hour?
  2. How do you know that Jesse is moving slower than 24km per hour?
  3. Would looking at how far she goes in 30 minutes help in either question 1 or 2?
  4. Would looking at how far she goes in 10 minutes help in either question 1 or 2?

Problem 2: The Growing Problem

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Explain how you see (visually) this pattern growing.
Some may see...
Blocks on Top
While others see...
Blocks on Bottom
  • There are many other unique visualizations
  • It is very important that we accept many answers
  • This validates thinking

How many blocks will there be in case 100?

  • Take a few minutes
  • Show all of your thinking
  • Think about if you physically had these blocks in front of you
  • Would it help to rearrange the blocks?
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  • In case 1 there are 2x2 blocks
  • In case 2 there are 3x3 blocks
  • In case 3 there are 4x4 blocks

  • In case 4 there would be ....
  • In case 5 there would be ....

  • In case 100 there would be ....

It is super important that we provide students with manipulatives. They are tools that help them (and us) think. They allow us to move things around so that our brain can focus on the task.

Problem 3: You like pop?

Let's Think...

How many sugar packets are in a 20 oz (591 ml) bottle of Coke?

  1. What's a guess you know is too low?
  2. What's a guess you know is too high?
  3. What's a guess you think may be right?

What information would you like to have in order to solve this problem?


Let's Check!

What do these problems have?

  • Room for conversation
  • Various entry points
  • Challenging questions
  • Some tangible connection to real life
  • Space for manipulatives

Anything else???

Thank you for participating!