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Our Year 6 students are lucky to have teachers who bring Maths to life in magical ways, showing them that it’s much more than equations and rote-learning of times tables.
We all need mathematical thinking in our lives, but maths anxiety can often prevent students from enjoying the subject. For some, Maths seems like the enemy of creativity and social interaction, and more a struggle with meaningless numbers and a narrow set of procedures that they are expected to reproduce at high speed. Our Year 6 teachers are determined to change this.
To help our students dispel the notion that they are ‘not a maths person’, the Year 6 teachers have introduced them to Dr Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University and the Co-Founder of youcubed.
Every week, they watch an inspirational video from Dr Boaler that leads to creative, open and visual learning. Across Year 6, the students love the activities and mindset videos and best of all, it is encouraging them to persevere and keep going, even when the work is hard and they make mistakes.
Recently, they’ve been looking at pattern graphs and have had huge fun, collaborating as they drew and discussed patterns on the whiteboard. It was interactive, social and helped to change some of our students’ ideas about their abilities, and their relationship with Maths.
Mali said, “After the Maths class, I found I could see number patterns in my head a lot better. Jo Boaler has taught me that everyone is a Maths person.” Ellie said, “After the Maths class I found that I had more self-esteem. Jo Boaler really gave me self-confidence when she said that anyone can be good at Maths. I believe in myself now.” Phoebe said, “Jo Boaler has helped me because I thought I was not the best at Maths, but in the video we watched last week, she said no one is bad at Maths.”
And Year 6 teacher, Mrs Froggatt,couldn't agree more. “Maths lessons really are fun. The students are able to see each other’s strategies and they learn a lot from each other.”
And that is a wonderful thing!