Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Why struggling is good for your brain!

“Everything stinks till it’s finished.”
Dr. Seuss.

In this post I begin with a video from the Project Zero website which touts the efficacy of using thinking routines to promote learning. However, in this lesson, I have not used any specific thinking routine apart from making use of the vast expanse of whiteboards which happen to be our classroom walls. The students love scribbling on them!

The students were given only one problem to solve. 

They had to find the area of a complex shape-with some sides unknown- in as many possible ways.  Some students came up with 6 ways to solve the same problem.

 The purpose of this lesson was to encourage maths fluency. In other words, to appreciate that they can arrive at the same answer in multiple ways.

The more you struggle, the more your brain grows according to Jo Boaler, Stanford Maths professor. In this thought-provoking video, she talks about the importance of struggle. She goes on to add that everyone can be good at maths; they just need to appreciate the importance of struggle.

Listen to the students talk about their struggle and challenges.

As you watch the video, you may spot the girls (above) still working on the problem!

Listen to David Wees talking about mistakes and challenges.
Here is his blog, if you are interested in learning more about his mathematical approach.

...So dear reader, how do you cope with struggle?

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