Each Failure is an Opportunity to Begin Again.

So, to beat my blogging average from the last school year, I just need one more post after this one!

Too often, after a late-night session of clicking through the MTBoS and getting lost in the sea of ideas, I find that I can’t remember them all and spend time finding things again instead of trying more of the ideas out in my own classroom. To rectify this, I am resolved to reflect each day for my own benefit. Ideas set better when I have to explain them myself and a daily reflection of how my teaching went and what things worked or didn’t would be valuable.

Today was the first day of pre-planning and last night I looked at my rolls and saw the faces of the students who will walk into my classroom on Friday. I’m excited for this school year! What wonderful children will be coming to school with me; I love teaching sixth-grade, in part because the students are so cute!

There are a lot of things I am trying out this year and reworking from last year, but the thing I’m most excited about are Number Talks. Since I talked to two math teachers at school today about these and another over the weekend, I think this is where my focus should be today.

I first heard about Number Talks at least a year ago, but I couldn’t see how they would work for me in my classroom. Then I took Jo Boaler’s Stanford class, How to Learn Math, for Teachers. Wow! This course helped me pull together all the growth mindset things I’ve been reading about and Number Talks gave me an actionable thing to start on with my students. After watching a number talk she did with her students, I started with mine the next day. I’m very excited to start with my students from day one this year. The video on this page is a good overview if you are new to Number Talks.

A few other resources I’ve found for Number Talks are an article from NCTM, another article from Math Perspectives, a website with more videos and articles from Math Perspectives and the book Making Number Talks Matter. And since I was raving about Jo Boaler, let me add her book Mathematical Mindsets. This book has been my favorite from those I read this summer.

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