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What Do Our Students Say About Math?

Teachers at Maple Lane have observed that many students who are reasonably strong with computation skills find it challenging to apply flexible approaches to problem solving. They have also reported that many students are hesitant to take risks with their learning in Math and find it challenging to communicate their mathematical thinking. Our Math inquiry group interviewed randomly selected students from Grade 1 - 7 to find out whether their perspectives match what teachers have been observing. Students were asked the following questions:

  • What is Math?
  • Do you enjoy Math? (Why or why not?)
  • What do you do when you face a challenge in Math?

Here are some themes that emerged across the grades:

  • Most students defined Math in relation to a computation or an activity they recently did in class (e.g. "adding two numbers together" "homework")
  • Many students reported they do not like Math because it is too challenging (e.g. "It's stressful because it's hard." "It's difficult and I get answers wrong a lot.")
  • When faced with a challenge in Math, most students will try one strategy and then ask the teacher for help (e.g. "I try my best to answer it. I ask my teacher for help.")

The interview responses from students will help guide the Math inquiry group as we focus on teaching flexible thinking skills, the use of multiple strategies, and communicating mathematical thinking. We believe that this will contribute to an increase in student resiliency with Math and a greater confidence with taking risks.

Updated: Friday, January 19, 2024