Every teacher (and parent) should read Mindset by Carol Dweck. We need to help students develop a growth mindset – let them grapple with problems and see that hard work produces results. A fixed mindset is detrimental to students who do well in school and to students who struggle. More information on Mindset can be found here http://mindsetonline.com/. You can register to receive a Mindset newsletter here http://community.mindsetworks.com/newsletter
Kakooma puzzles, developed by Greg Tang, are a great way for students to practice their math facts. After students have a conceptual understanding of each of the operations and are developing efficient strategies for solving equations, students are ready to practice their basic facts. Kakooma puzzles are available on an interactive website http://gregtangmath.com/Kakooma/ and books can be purchased from Scholastic or Creative Mathematics . There are also Kakooma apps available in the iTunes store http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kakooma-addition-pro/id524425633?mt=8
Here are some YouTube videos that illustrate what happens when you don’t have a good strategy to solve a problem.
These first two are from “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” Neither of these contestants were able to come up with a strategy to solve their problem.
Easy Math Question on Millionaire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmz39XOEHC4
When Not Knowing Math Can Cost You $15,000 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbX44YSsQ2I
Why we shouldn’t teach the standard algorithm without understanding…
Ma and Pa Kettle Math http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfq5kju627c
And just for fun – you never know when someone is going to ask you for math help.
Math Call to 911 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT4NOe4vtoM
A lot of families have a ritual of reading a story at bedtime but more and more parents are starting to add a math problem to the bedtime routine. Bedtime Math http://bedtimemathproblem.org/ is a resource providing differentiated math problems each day. Share this resource with parents or use the problems in your own classroom.