Too often, students have a negative attitude toward learning math. You can

take steps to reverse that attitude. You can provide students with opportunities

to develop personal connections to math so they value the acquisition

of math knowledge. Neuroscience research reveals a connection between enjoyable, participatory learning and long-term memory.

Too often, students have a negative attitude toward learning math. You can

take steps to reverse that attitude. You can provide students with opportunities

to develop personal connections to math so they value the acquisition

of math knowledge. Neuroscience research reveals a connection between enjoyable, participatory learning and long-term memory.

**Students work harder and persevere through challenges when they have concrete personal**

goals and motivation for mastering the subject knowledge. With interest

and lasting memory, your students can learn math with a depth of comprehension

that extends beyond the test—and even beyond summer vacation.

Interventions that can help students overcome their negative attitudes

include the following:

• Evaluating and planning so that each student works at an individually

appropriate level of achievable challenge.

• Building missing foundation skills through strategies such as “errorless

math,” prediction and estimating, and scaffolding with cue words,

previews, and calculators.

• Teaching to students’ strengths and with their interests in mind.

• Recognizing the link between effort and goal achievement.

• Using strategies to reduce negative responses to mistakes (e.g., modeling

appropriate reactions, discussing common mistakes and how to avoid them)

and increase levels of participation.

goals and motivation for mastering the subject knowledge. With interest

and lasting memory, your students can learn math with a depth of comprehension

that extends beyond the test—and even beyond summer vacation.

Interventions that can help students overcome their negative attitudes

include the following:

• Evaluating and planning so that each student works at an individually

appropriate level of achievable challenge.

• Building missing foundation skills through strategies such as “errorless

math,” prediction and estimating, and scaffolding with cue words,

previews, and calculators.

• Teaching to students’ strengths and with their interests in mind.

• Recognizing the link between effort and goal achievement.

• Using strategies to reduce negative responses to mistakes (e.g., modeling

appropriate reactions, discussing common mistakes and how to avoid them)

and increase levels of participation.

We’ll explore each of these interventions in the following chapters,

but the concept of achievable challenge is an important underlying principle

that is worth emphasizing here. Indeed, a central goal of this book

is to show you how to diff erentiate for each student’s level of achievable

challenge. No two classes have students with the same learning strengths,

cultural infl uences, special needs, foundational skills, and conceptual levels

in math numeracy, language, or reading abilities. Sometimes students come

to our classrooms from schools with less successful math instruction or

schools that use different instructional systems.

We’ll explore each of these interventions in the following chapters,

but the concept of achievable challenge is an important underlying principle

that is worth emphasizing here. Indeed, a central goal of this book

is to show you how to diff erentiate for each student’s level of achievable

challenge. No two classes have students with the same learning strengths,

cultural infl uences, special needs, foundational skills, and conceptual levels

in math numeracy, language, or reading abilities. Sometimes students come

to our classrooms from schools with less successful math instruction or

schools that use different instructional systems.

**Teachers who use strategies to diff erentiate and adapt the curriculum according to the foundational**

knowledge of their students increase the likelihood of successfully meeting

those students’ varying needs. However, professional development and

mentoring that target new curriculum content sometimes fall short. To fi ll

this gap, I’ll describe how to evaluate each student’s achievable challenge

level relative to each new unit so instruction can be applied appropriately

to lower the barriers, not the bar.

knowledge of their students increase the likelihood of successfully meeting

those students’ varying needs. However, professional development and

mentoring that target new curriculum content sometimes fall short. To fi ll

this gap, I’ll describe how to evaluate each student’s achievable challenge

level relative to each new unit so instruction can be applied appropriately

to lower the barriers, not the bar.

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