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I enjoyed reading your

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I enjoyed reading your article. I thoroughly agree with your statement, “Having a positive environment for kids where they feel like they can actually do math without feeling like they're complete failures matters a lot, (Vilson, 2012).
You list five very good reasons that allow your students to enter into a safe math classroom. Allowing students to make more mistakes in the classroom was my favorite. I thoroughly agree that we should allow our student to make more mistakes in the classroom. It is the math teacher that needs to instill in their student a different type of critical thinking when solving problems that allows for mistakes and creativity. The students need to feel that if they make a mistake that it is ok for them to correct their mistake and maybe come up with a new method for solving a math problem. As math teachers we know that there is more than one way to solve a problem. I am going to try this method out in my math classes.

Fourth grade teacher in Pacoima, California.

Your reference to Stephen

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Your reference to Stephen Krashen is what first caught my attention. Yes! Lowering the affective filter is not an idea that I limit to my instruction of English Language Learners. Math is, in fact, a language all its own and it makes sense that we treat it as such. Your five principles were extremely helpful. All principles really resonated with me but the one that I will definitely take into my classroom starting tomorrow is to "Let Kids Teach, Too." Our students have the capability to offer so much to their peers if we only give them a chance. I have found that once a lesson is done and the independent practice has started, the early finishers, once I have checked their work, could be the ones I call upon to peer tutor their classmates. This not only gives them a chance to deepen their own learning by having to help/explain/tutor a peer but it also gives struggling students the opportunity to work in a situation where that affective filter is lowered by dint of working with someone their own age, who has the same or almost the same experience with the subject matter that they do. It's like they're getting a second chance at the assignment...and I am always there to help as well. It seems they find it easier to go to a peer and ask for help than to ask the teacher. I am okay with that, as long as I can monitor what is happening and intervene when I need to. Thanks so much for your ideas!

High school math teacher

Conditions for success

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Thank you for your great ideas, I plan on incorporating them in my teaching practices. I agree with you about creating conditions for success to promote student engagement. I find that when students feel confident about a given task they remain engage. One way that I try to build confidence is by providing tasks that allow students to have access from multiple entry points. Creating tasks that builds from prior knowledge also help students feel confident about what they are learning.

Great points!

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Your five principles for your classroom are great reminders for math teachers! It is amazing to me how many of my students say things like, "I hate math," and "I'm just not good at math, but neither is my mother." I, too, try to create a positive environment where mistakes are just the fact of life when working math problems. I am going to take your advice and try to use the word "wrong" less. I also especially liked your idea to answer the students' questions with another question. This sounds like a good way to continue their own thinking processes.

I liked this article a lot!

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I liked this article a lot! Children tend to be scared of learning math because it seems very difficult for them. Thanks for the tips! I will surely incorporate these tips in my classroom!

I liked this article a lot!

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I liked this article a lot! Children tend to be scared of learning math because it seems very difficult for them. Thanks for the tips! I will surely incorporate these tips in my classroom!

Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com

I love your point "Let the

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I love your point "Let the Kids Teach, Too" in math this can be so important! I love using the iPad app ScreenChomp to help students feel like math masters: http://wp.me/p2qsME-6Q

Rhonda I like your

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Rhonda I like your perspective, that should be that way educators must think. You know what I hate most: those educators like my colleagues here, when I try to collaborate with them, they would say, "Oh I cannot do it because I am a math specialist" I'm just wondering, I just thinking of the two things here; 1 is he might just lazy to do integration or interdisciplinary or he doesn't know anything about interdisciplinary. But this kind of people should not be in the education sector if I can say it that way.

Job Dependent is unsustainable

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Rob you have a very good perspective but it seems like unidirectional; what am I looking now is how education encourage to be self sufficient not to be dependent, because the way I look at the world scenario now is like this; everytime they lose their job, they complain and rally, protest and do unnecessary things it seems to them that's already the end of the world. Can we try to calibrate (since we are talking about math) degrees of inclination so that we can have a good hit with our bullet (education). That instead dependent to what the economy can offer for job, what they can do to generate alternatives to survive. I think that's very critical now a days since world economy seems cannot recover anymore to the 2000 level.

STEM curriculum writer, PLC author, consultant and trainer

Those points work!

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Jose, those 5 points work! Not just for math, mind you - but for subjects such as STEM as well. Allowing students to make mistakes - and pointing out that we learn more from what we do wrong than from what we do right - is a real catalyst for learning. I'm going to reference your post in an upcoming STEM blog, and hope teachers take note!

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