This book has me so fired up about math! Glad you're joining in for Chapter 3 of Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler. If you missed the first couple of chapters, you can catch up here:Summary
Math is often thought of as a performance subject. Students must perform by getting answers correct. However, mathematicians view math as beautiful, aesthetic, and creative. What? Boaler focuses on the beauty of math, particularly in nature. The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where a number is found by adding up the two numbers before it. Starting with 0 and 1, the sequence goes 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and so forth. Written as a rule, the expression is x = x + x. Put the squares with those widths, forming a spiral:
- Posing a question
- Going from the real world to a mathematical model
- Performing a calculation
- Going from the model back to the real world, to see if the original question was answered. However, 80% of school mathematics is spent on stage 3: performing a calculation by hand (something employers do not need workers to be able to do; there are computers)
Math must be seen as real and meaningful. Students need to be convinced of the importance of math in their own lives. There's a terrific picture book, A Day with No Math by Marilyn Kaye. A young boy wished there was no math, awaking to find all numbers gone. It's a funny story that makes the point about math in our everyday lives.
Three Tips for the Classroom
Emphasize the creativity & importance of math by sharing ways it is used in the arts, sports, videogames. . . I discovered this cool website, Get the Math, all about algebra in the real world. There are videos and information about how professionals use math in music, fashion, videogames, restaurants, basketball, and special effects. Student can take interactive challenges related to those careers.problem solving booklets with my kids and although it's often painful at the beginning of the year, by mid-year, they love crossing out their bloopers and showing multiple possible solutions! Click on the picture below to learn more!