My goals for this school year came full circle while I was speaking to Brian P. * I want my students to leave my classroom in June 2017 hating or fearing math less than they do right now.* Perhaps even be a tad bit excited because they did something in Ms. K’s math class that reminded them that they do not suck at math. That they can still “do math” even if they don’t have the correct answer because their thinking process is just as important, or rather more important, than their final answer.

So I decided that this year, in order to meet this goal I’m going to focus so much more on establishing and cultivating the classroom environment. It’s always has been rushed the past few years because we “need to get through the material.” But not this year.

- I started our first math class with Sara Vaderwerf’s amazing 100 numbers to get students talking
- We established some group norms based on the previous activity and I refer to them often.
- I’m spending MORE time on LESS things so that students have time to explore, engage, ask questions, and then explore those questions.
- I’m modeling what talking in math looks like. I’m facilitating those conversations when I check in with students instead of pushing the conversation along.
- And I’m trying to be okay with not “finishing” as long as I know that students fear math less and are willing to engage even when they are not sure what the correct answer is.

Hoping the best for a great 2016-2017 school year.