To help students in grades K-12 approach math with creativity and enjoyment, youcubed, a Stanford University center that provides research-based resources for teaching and learning mathematics, has released a series of free lessons in time for back to school. The Week of Inspirational Math (WiM) lesson series for teachers, parents, and students includes five lessons that offer students open, rich mathematics experiences that inspire creative thinking and a growth mindset. The lessons are accompanied by five motivational videos created by Stanford professor Jo Boaler and her undergraduate students.
Last year a similar set of lessons for the WiM were downloaded approximately one-third of a million times and used in every state across the U.S. When surveyed, 98 percent of the teachers said their students were engaged when working on the lessons and 96% of the students surveyed said they now believe they should keep going even when work is hard and they make mistakes.
The lessons were developed by leading Stanford University mathematics education professor Dr. Jo Boaler and the team at youcubed. The lessons encourage creative mathematical thinking, as well as visual mathematics incorporating fingers, manipulatives, and motion in teaching and learning various concepts, as suggested by the latest brain science. The lessons provide opportunities for students to draw, visualize, discuss ideas, and work with models in mathematics – teaching mathematical ideas visually through pattern study and generalization. The lessons ask students, at regular intervals, how they see mathematical ideas and ask students to represent mathematical ideas in a multitude of ways, such as through pictures, models, graphs, and more.
“The Week of Inspirational Math resources engage students as creative problem solvers and help them develop a growth mindset about mathematics, which is known to aid students in their mathematical development,” said Boaler. “The free, research-based lessons and accompanying motivational videos help teachers, as well as parents, increase students’ mathematics achievement and give them a mindset and approach to mathematics that will help them throughout the year.”
To learn more about Week of Inspirational Math and to access the lessons, visit https://www.youcubed.org/week-of-inspirational-math-2/.
About Dr. Jo Boaler
Dr. Jo Boaler is a professor of mathematics education at Stanford University and the co-founder of youcubed. She was named as one of the eight educators “changing the face of education” by the BBC and is the author of online courses for teachers and students that have been taken by more than 200,000 participants. She is the recipient of many awards, including the 2014 NCSM Equity Award and an NSF presidential award. Dr. Boaler’s former roles have included being the Marie Curie Professor of Mathematics Education for Europe, a mathematics teacher in London comprehensive schools, and a researcher at King’s College, London University.
youcubed is a center at Stanford University that provides educators, parents and students with free K-12 math resources and affordable professional development. Led by Professor Jo Boaler of the Graduate School of Education, youcubed aims to inspire, educate and empower teachers of mathematics, transforming the latest research on math learning into accessible and practical forms. Visit youcubed.org to learn more and access free mathematics materials and information.
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