Written by Marsi Quarin-Wright, Instructional Coach

Online Teacher Course by Jo Boaler: youcubed.com

I
was recently introduced to the work of Jo Boaler and the website

*youcubed.org.*What caught my interest is where she says math learning begins. Her starting point is fundamental to the vison of FSD and the role**relationships**play in learning. To me, this is not a typical starting point in understanding math. What furthered my curiosity was watching this approach to math instruction in a classroom. I listened to the teacher’s positive talk and how engaged students were in the lessons. The most impressive is listening to how students in her class love math, describe 3-D shapes with excitement and apply proper math vocabulary. I knew I had to investigate more. I went on to the website and found that there was an online course I could take. I signed up!
I
was nervous and fearful; what was I doing taking a math course? What if I had
to add or multiply something? To my
surprise, as I logged in and found the first sections of the course were on
Math Mindset, Mistakes and Persistence, and Teaching for a Growth Mindset. Dr.
Boaler quickly dispelled the myths of math, such as:

·
math
is only for smart people

·
you
either get math or you don’t.

She
uses brain research to show that everyone is capable of learning math to high
levels. I quickly realized that math has a bad reputation and my own worries
about taking this class fed into that bad reputation. I quickly understood and
turned my worries into wonders and began to see math in a new light.

Over
the years I have heard from friends, family, parents and students – “I hate
math” or “I’m no good at math”. I think it is vitally important that we become
more aware of how these passing comments can affect how students’ view and
ultimately learn math. We need to focus on the positives and not create
unnecessary anxiety in students by continuing to discuss math in a negative
way. Using a growth mindset can offset
many of these fears for our students. We need to use mistakes as a path to a
deeper understanding of math. Having students see that persevering through
difficult tasks is a way to make our math brain grow.

Where
to start? I encourage everyone to take a look at

*youcubed.org*.
This
starts that switch in mindset in math. You can check out the online student
class on

*youcubed.org*called, “How to Learn Math: For Students;” its free and another great place to start for everyone. The whole site is really amazing and provides practical, easy to use lessons for all teachers – even for those who think they “aren’t good at math”…