Transforming the Culture of Math: Developing Students as Powerful Mathematical Thinkers

Students are like pieces of clay, available to be transformed by the teaching entities around them. Should the goal of those teaching entities be to lead the students into becoming powerful mathematical thinkers then they need to create an environment conducive to that, lesson plans that reflect that, use language too that is specific to that goal. In order for students to reach the high bar placed for them to reach, expectations must be explicitly spelled out and clear. Teachers must model the mathematical precepts and thinking they wish their students to learn. Routines that teach and embed such thinking should be as every day as putting away coats and taking out books. In all of these ways, powerful, mathematical thinkers can be developed.

Key Takeaways:

  • For students to excel and reach a high bar, it’s important that high expectations are asked and clearly expected from them.
  • Teachers must actively model the behavior that they seek to instill, calling attention to the behaviors they wish students to emulate.
  • It math understanding is the goal, then the language in the classroom must be specific to thinking and ideas that promote mathematical growth.

“In this final post, we will examine how to develop students as powerful mathematical thinkers and learners, by leveraging Ron Ritchhart’s Eight Cultural Forces.”

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Articles written by SensoryEdge are a combined effort of the SensoryEdge publishing staff. At SensoryEdge our focus is to educate, inform, and inspire each person caring for children to be and do their very best. It is not always easy and sometimes we don't take action (or we take the wrong action) because of a lack of understanding the real issues. We hope that the conversations that occur here will help in some small way better the lives of children, their families, and the professionals who work with them.