Mathematics in our classroom takes on an experiential form where students explore their curiosity and interests through a variety of methods. We strive to create an environment where students feel safe to take risks and challenge their thinking.
We realize that community is an essential part for students to develop a positive self-identity in mathematics. One way we support this is by engaging students in number talks where they are given the opportunity to think critically and challenge each other’s thinking in a respectful way. These types of rich mathematical tasks build community amongst students and encourage willingness to participate as well as confidence in self-efficacy.
When teaching is going well it takes on a life of its own. Students work in different groups, at their own pace, and explore concepts through a variety of conceptual approaches. When working through fractions, students visualize concepts of ‘parts of a whole’ and are then encouraged to use whatever visual framework works best for them when solving problems, as long as they are efficient and effective. We overheard in our classroom today: “If that is how you calculate the area for a rectangle, how you do calculate it for a triangle or a circle?” This is when logic prevails in our room… As students grasp the meanings of the numbers, the formula, the fraction line or the reason for using a manipulative to reinforce a concept they are more likely to apply logic to solve problems. The result: passionate mathematicians.
@TashaRoa Kathleen Shaver (@therealmomblog) & @bribolivar10 are grade 4 teachers seeking to instill curiosity, stewardship and collaboration amongst our students. Join our journey: @grade4wonders