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Unit 0:

Introduction to Algebra I

Math with a Growth Mindset
1 week
Themes for Developmental Lessons
  • Theme 1: Math is about learning not performing.
    Math Practice(s): 1
     
  • Theme 2: Math is about making sense.
    Math Practice(s): 1, 5, 7
     
  • Theme 3: Math is filled with conjectures, creativity, and uncertainty.
    Math Practice(s): 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8
     
  • Theme 4: Mistakes are beautiful things.
    Math Practice(s): 1, 5, 6
     

NOTE: Activities and lesson plan ideas can vary based on schedules. Once the classroom norms are set and students are introduced to the concept of a growth mindset, the activities in subsequent themes can be completed throughout the year.

 
 

Background:

These resources are intended to be used at the beginning of a school year to introduce students to the idea that anyone can learn mathematics and to provide instructional activities to support students in developing mathematical habits of mind and a growth mindset.

“When students and educators have a growth mindset, they understand that intelligence can be developed. Students focus on improvement instead of worrying about how smart they are. They work hard to learn more and get smarter. Based on years of research by Stanford University’s Dr. Dweck, Lisa Blackwell Ph.D., and their colleagues, we know that students who learn this mindset show greater motivation in school, better grades, and higher test scores” (www.mindsetworks.com).

Through these activities, students will have the opportunity to explore growth mindsets and learn how the brain grows. Each day will begin with a Contemplate than Calculate activity in which students will look for structure to solve seemingly complicated problems. Then students will watch a video, read an article, or write a letter in order to better understand the importance of growth mindsets.

Social Goals

Students will understand the importance of a growth mindset (e.g., that math is not about talent or natural ability, but about thoughtful practice) and what it means to talk and listen. Students will also understand that class is where students practice thinking and doing math.

Mathematical Goals

  • Students will learn the value of taking time to think about math and listen to how others make sense of their work to arrive at a common understanding.
  • Students will build the habits of using precise language, practicing, and sharing their thoughts.

Additional Resources:

 

Theme 1: Mindset affects learning math

Math Practice Standards: MP1Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

Goals:
  • Students identify their own mindset in math and explain that one of the goals of the math course will be learning how to shift to a growth mindset through practice.
  • Students build and explain the learning norms in the class, and act in accordance with them to support the idea that everyone can learn math to the highest level.
  • Students chunk, change, and connect (or look for structure in) mathematical representations to think like mathematicians and use it to approach problems. Students will be introduced to an instructional routine, Contemplate then Calculate, which can be used throughout the year.

Possible Lesson Sequence and Ideas

 

* Based on preferences, style, or understanding of students, you may want to use one of the other alternate video or task options posted in the second column.

Growth Mindset Activities / Video Options*:Math Routines / Tasks Options*:Additional Information:

Theme 2: Math is about making sense

Math Practice Standards: MP1Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them., MP5Use appropriate tools strategically, MP7Look for and make use of structure.

Goals:
  • Students explain that math should make sense and ask questions when math does not make sense.
  • Students use different methods (visuals) to illustrate how they are “seeing” math.
  • Students explain that math takes time because of deep mathematical thinking.

Possible Lesson Sequence and Ideas

 

* Based on preferences, style, or understanding of students, you may want to use one of the other alternate video or task options posted in the second column.

Growth Mindset Activities / Video Options*:
  • Brain Crossing - (from 2015 YouCubed, Day 2. Duration 01:13) Access to this video may require a free registration.
  • Speed is not important (from 2016 YouCubed, Day 4. Duration 02:06) - video is about drawing to visualize and make connections
  • Our Brains Think About Math Visually (from 2016 YouCubed, Day 5. Duration 02:57) - video is about visual pathways and about connections
  • Thinking Slowly and Deeply (from 2015 YouCubed, Day 3. Duration 02:25) Access to this video may require a free registration.
Math Routines / Tasks Options*:Additional Information:

Theme 3: Math is filled with conjectures, creativity, and uncertainty

Math Practice Standards: MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them., MP2Reason abstractly and quantitatively., MP3Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others., MP4Model with mathematics., MP7Look for and make use of structure., MP8Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Goals:
  • Students make conjectures and convince themselves as well as others as to why a conjecture is true; students offer different approaches when a conjecture is not true.
  • Students explain how math can be creative and can give examples of creative math.

Possible Lesson Sequence and Ideas

* Based on preferences, style, or understanding of students, you may want to use one of the other alternate video or task options posted in the second column.

Growth Mindset Activities / Video Options*:
  • Pattern Finding (2015, YouCubed video for Day 4. Duration 05:00)
  • Speed is Not Important (from 2016 YouCubed, Day 4. Duration 02:06) - video is about drawing to visualize and make connections
Math Routines / Tasks Options*:Additional Information:

Theme 4: Mistakes are beautiful things

Math Practice Standards: MP1Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them., MP5Use appropriate tools strategically., MP6Attend to precision.

Goals:
  • Students set goals, create a plan, analyze results, and reflect on their learning, adjusting as they work toward meeting their goals.
  • Students explain the role mistakes play in learning and growing their brains.

Possible Lesson Sequence and Ideas

* Based on preferences, style, or understanding of students, you may want to use one of the other alternate video or task options posted in the second column

Growth Mindset Activities / Video Options*:Math Routines / Tasks Options*:
  • Any of the ones from Themes 1-3 which haven’t been used
Additional Information:

Unit Overview

0 Components

These resources are intended to be used at the beginning of a school year to introduce students to the idea that anyone can learn mathematics and to provide instructional activities to support students in developing mathematical habits of mind and a growth mindset.