Unit 0:

Introduction to Algebra I

Math with a Growth Mindset
1 week


These Unit 0 resources are intended to be used at the start of the school year, introducing students to growth mindset as classroom norms are being established. There are instructional activities embedded to support students in developing mathematical habits of mind as students also consider their own growth mindset in math.

Through these activities, students will have the opportunity to explore learn how the brain grows. Each day will include a mix of growth mindset activities – reflecting on videos, reading an article, or engaging in classroom norm building – and open-ended math tasks, although the focus will be on Contemplate then Calculate – an instructional routine where students look for structure to solve seemingly complicated problems.

“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” (

Social Goals

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

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.

Unit Overview

4 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.