“What is the point of trying?” “I just don’t get Math!” “I don’t do Math!” “I am not a Math person.” “Can I work on something else instead?” These are all comments that frequently come out of HS students’ mouths who have not yet had their mind spell broken to conceptualize Math in a comprehensible manner. So how does one break that spell? Read on and you will find the Spell Breaker Recipe….
Spell Breaker Recipe for Learning Math
One student’s brain which has closed off to Math
One teacher’s willingness to discover the turn-on switch
Simple Math Fluency and Math Computations skill sheets
Topic being studied in class with independent assignment
A pinch of willingness
1 cup of humor
½ cup spell breaking chemicals
Step 1: Sit down with student and find out what they know how to do. Work together Math problems that involve Math Computation and Math Fluency skills related to topic. It is very important at this stage to talk with the student about ways that you find yourself vulnerable when approaching difficult tasks to hook them in on taking risks.
Step 2: Once the teacher has a general idea of what basic skills may be causing difficulty, the teacher differentiates independent assignment with scaffolds and supports in place so that student has a chance to get to the answer.
Step 3: Present student with one math problem of the new independent task and a cup of water with the spell breaking chemical. Watch them work through the task and be successful
Step 4: Take in the smile that comes across their face once they have figured it out.
Step 5: Congratulate them.
Step 6: Give them another problem that is slightly more difficult on the independent assignment and encourage them to try. Add some more spell breaking chemicals in their cup.
Step 7: Work with them if necessary to assist them with figuring it out
Step 8: Listen to them say, “I got it!” “This wasn’t so hard.”
Hear the new chorus in the room of “This is the best Math class ever!!”