A Growth mindset in Maths - Daryl Goodwin

A Growth mindset in Maths - Daryl Goodwin

(Posted on 06/01/20)

What is the first thing you think of when you see this?

ARRRRRRRGHHH!

 

However all of the steps required to prove the quadratic formula are skills that most people are taught by year 10. Granted the above proof is not easy but there are steps that are recognisable to a large cohort of students.

It is the same with answering exam questions. Students often say to me ‘I don’t get it!’ and my response is ‘Neither do I… yet’. However I am confident that I have all the tools to solve the problem.

As it turns out this barrier to learning is not unique to studying Mathematics. The Maths and Spanish team met last term and decided we were going to try and do something to boost the students’ mind-set towards tackling questions that are not immediately obvious to understand.

Challenge the mathematicians

Ian Johnson, our MFL teacher, gave myself and Richard Jones the following passage in a romance language that we have never studied and asked us to answer questions from the text:

It was really interesting placing ourselves in the position of the students and having the feeling of uncertainty. However, very quickly we started to answer questions and managed to get the main bulk of the answers correct.

 

How are we going to merge the two problems?

The idea is that you don’t need to fully understand the question in order to attempt a problem in both maths and Spanish, often you only need to know some basic facts in order to get you started.

So myself and Richard are going to do something similar again, however with a new language and new questions but this time live in front of our year 10 students, with the idea of showcasing the power of a Growth Mind-set (Granted this could go really wrong).

The students will then be subjected to maths and Spanish questions with parts of the question missing, with the aim of answering ‘what you can’ with the information given. 

The questions are going to be scaffolded in such a way that students will be answering Maths questions in Spanish.

 

- Daryl Goodwin