Math

Creating a Community of Mathematicians

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September…in teaching it is a month of new beginnings, many possibilities, new crayons and community building. September community building lays the foundation for learning in the classroom, develops relationships, establishes norms and provides an environment where learners can thrive. Community building is often seen as not subject specific and it often is, however the process of establishing a community of learners that is subject specific can lay the foundation of learning within each area. In mathematics September provides an opportunity to create a Community of Mathematicians. This community of mathematicians can create positive interdependence within the classroom, promote interactions, build group skills and allow for the possibility of group processing (O’Connell, 2005).

One way to build community amoung mathematicians is to construct with students an anchor chart about the question “What does a mathematician do? This can create rich discussions and some possible answers such as:

A mathematician…

  • listens to the ideas of other mathematicians
  • encourages other mathematicians
  • follows directions
  • knows what to do in mathematician’s workshop
  • takes time to take all the information he (she) has and puts it all together
  • uses strategies
  • stops and thinks
  • writes to remember her (his) thinking
  • asks questions
  • shares his (her) thinking with other mathematicians
  • keeps trying
  • shares manipulatives

O’Connell, S. (2005) . Now I get it. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

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4 thoughts on “Creating a Community of Mathematicians”

  1. Dear Ms. Brokofsky,

    “September community building lays the foundation for learning in the classroom, develops relationships, establishes norms and provides an environment where learners can thrive”

    Wonderful Post! I find your post very interesting. You enter the month of September with a plan to win within the community, to help, to enjoy, to become the leader you know you can be, and I applaud you for that. Nothing is better than working in the community and trying to get not only children but for some people that do not know the understanding of “What a mathematician does”.
    Mathematicians are Awesome!
    Great Post!

    Sincerely,
    Shanee J

  2. Very nice! You might also be interested in the postings here: https://mathematicsteachingcommunity.math.uga.edu/index.php/194/what-are-components-productive-disposition-how-foster-them#a196
    which refer to this page.

    Hope you will also join the conversations at the Mathematics Teaching Community,  https://mathematicsteachingcommunity.math.uga.edu/  which is a new online community for those of us who want mathematics teaching to be a vigorous, vibrant profession. It’s a place where we can learn with and from each other and build a repository of knowledge about mathematics teaching. Everyone who teaches (or taught) mathematics at any level from PreK through college is invited. Use the tags to search for topics of interest. Post submissions, which can be anything for or about mathematics teaching, such as activities, questions, or links to useful resources. Vote for postings that you find helpful or interesting. Further information about the site can be found in the FAQ and in postings with the “meta” tag.  

  3. I am a college student majoring in elementary education and I found this blog post quite interesting.
    “September…in teaching it is a month of new beginnings, many possibilities, new crayons and community building. September community building lays the foundation for learning in the classroom, develops relationships, establishes norms and provides an environment where learners can thrive.”
    This is so true and I love that you are working hard to do this for your community! I think it is vital to involve the community, in which you teach in, with as many things as possible. Starting off strong in the beginning of the school year is necessary and you seem to be going into this month full force with a plan to succeed.

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