Monday, October 19, 2015

Math Monday -- Growth Mindset Edition

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Psyberartist

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Emily L

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Shelley Ginger

Our guidance counselor did a fabulous growth mindset lesson last week on how neural pathways are built in our brains. She talked about how new information is as tenuous as string or thread, but that with repetition and learning, pathways become as strong as yarn and as durable as rope.

On Friday, my math class did a pre-assessment on 5.NBT.2 -- understanding patterns of place value in numbers that are multiplied/divided by powers of ten, exponents, and metric measurement.

We're only two months into the school year, but my students understand that pre-assessments are to show what they know so that I can better meet them at their level. They have learned to approach them with a sense of curiosity -- a pre-assessment is a sneak peak at what they'll learn in the coming weeks. But these concepts on Friday were so far out of their realm of background knowledge that one student told me his neurons weren't string, they were spider webs! Not to be outdone, another student said, "Mine aren't even spider webs...they are CLOUDS!"

My response was, "That's okay, because in two weeks -- **finger snap** -- you'll understand all this!"

This will be a fun two weeks in math, and we'll keep a close watch on the way our learning grows as the strength of our understanding progresses from clouds to webs to string to yarn to rope.


  1. Love Love Love this! Student reflection and understanding about their learning.

  2. Great analogy, and great job getting your students curious about learning.

  3. That's poetry, Mary Lee :-)

  4. Lovely description, and concept. Growth mindset is VERY powerful. Your students will be learning a lot this year!


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