Saturday, July 9, 2016

First day activity

If making a mistake in math helps our brains to grow (see Mistakes post), then we need to change the way we handle student mistakes in the classroom.

How do we change the way a student thinks of mistakes in the math class?

This is an activity I plan to try the first day in my Algebra 1 class this year.

Take a piece of paper. Put your name on the paper.

Write on the paper your feelings when you make a mistake in math.

Crumble it up.

Now take that crumbled piece of paper and throw it at the board with the feelings that they have when they make a mistake in math.

Now, go retrieve your paper.

Unfold the paper and smooth it out.

Turn the paper over to the blank side. Take a colored marker or pencil and start to trace the lines of that crumbled piece of paper. This represents the new synapses that grow in your brain when you make a mistake.

Now take that piece of paper and put that in your notebook for this entire year to remind you that mistakes are just proof that your brain is growing. 

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