Building a Community of Thinking Mathematicians
A community is a place where individuals share common values, goals, and activities (Bredekamp and Rosegrant 1992, 81).
Building a collaborative community of thinking mathematicians is one of the most important things that you do the first few weeks of school. It is then that children learn messages about who counts, who doesn’t (even though everybody should), how to talk, treat each other, how to persevere or quit, how to learn or not learn.
How are you setting up your mathematical community? What are the common values? How are these established? What are the common goals? How are these established? What math rituals and routines do you do that reinforce these?
Here are some thoughts about teaching values, goals and routines in math class:
Values: Perseverance counts…we stick with stuff until we get it… we get it at different times… we don’t rush each other… we respect the need to think…we value talk….we learn together….
Goals: We set them …we state them….we track them……we strive to think about things in many ways… (we also value it)…
Routines: We do things like number talks and number of the day and fraction of the day and decimal of the day and calendar math because it reflects our values (we hang out with numbers…we get on friendly terms with them throughout the day, week and year…we value numeracy) and it helps us to meet our goals.
Happy Mathing and Have a Great School Year,