I recently posted Jo Boaler’s 7 Math Norms in the front of my room, and I’m in love with it.
I regularly tell students that “mistakes are helpful, we need them”, and while the message eventually gets through, it is SO MUCH MORE POWERFUL when I say it while pointing directly at the norm “Mistakes are valuable”. Students know I’m not just covering for their mistake in front of their friends. I took the time to print and post these things – I really mean them.
We’re only one month in, and this week I had students repeating the norms back to me. I would start heading to the board after someone got caught up in doing something according to a rule, and before I got there, the student said, “I know, I know, math is about creativity and sense making”. Or someone would raise their hand to ask a question and then put it back down, and their friend pointed at the board and said, “Dude! Questions are important.”
When parents came in for open house and I was able to point to, “Everyone can learn math to the highest levels.” I had immediate buy in – I wasn’t just saying things. There was more belief that I meant it.
I know you’ve all been posting posters forever, but the placement of these, right above where I write and teach has been the best. I highly encourage it.