Thursday, November 17, 2016

Math Instruction

As you know from reading Jenny Brown's Blog, we have, as a staff, been having a lot of conversations around math instruction.  This is something that I've always been passionate about.  I believe in teaching kids to be true mathematicians, to build a solid understanding of numbers, and that everyone can be a strong "math person" (it's not a genetic trait lol).  This philosophy goes right along with the vision of the GRE math instruction.  We believe in our math program Investigations for the way it exposes kids to look at math as a concept and not a bunch of memorized items.  You can ask your kiddos what I say to them daily about being math thinkers.  Many of us here at GRE have also participated in a book study around Jo Boaler's book Mathematical Mindsets.  It's a fantastic read based on research on what really great math instruction looks like and what kind of progress can be made when done properly.  One of the fascinating facts I learned while reading this book was about structural brain changes.  New research overwhelmingly shows brains are plastic and not fixed as previously thought.  A recent study by the National Institute of Mental Health showed that when a group of subjects did a 10 minute mental task for  just three weeks there was evidence of structural brain changes.  That's only 10 minutes a day to see ACTUAL brain changes!!  This is one reason I am a strong believer in the Weekly Reading and Math Log homework assignment.