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:
- 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.