Chapter 2 begins with Sammons reflecting on the fact that as teachers we strive to create print-rich environments to help foster a love of literacy. She challenges readers to consider doing the same for mathematics. Since I moved into my school in January, I left things set up the way the previous teacher had them. Now that it's the end of the year, I have already started rethinking my room set up. One of the areas that I know I want to improve in is creating a numeracy-rich environment. In the same way that I will thoughtfully plan out different areas for literacy, I am committed to doing the same for math.
Sammons then goes on to discuss the foundational principles of a guided math classroom:
- All children can learn mathematics--create an environment where students recognize the relationship between effort and learning
- A numeracy rich environment promotes mathematical learning by students--immerse students in a world of mathematics where they see math related materials throughout the classroom and participate in meaningful problem-solving opportunities, which will lead students to see the real world applications of math in their lives
- Learning at its best is a social process--engage students in reflective dialogue and conversations
- Learning mathematics is a constructive process--students need to learn, explore, and create
- An organized classroom environment supports the learning process--organize materials, time, and procedures
- Modeling and think alouds, combined with ample opportunities for guided and independent problem solving and purposeful conversations, create a learning environment in which students' mathematical understanding grows--modeling problem-solving and multiple approaches shows students that there isn't one correct way to solve a problem
- Ultimately children are responsible for their learning--establish motivation and opportunity for students to learn
The chapter concludes with discussions on classroom arrangement, organization, and creating a numeracy-rich environment. Many of these topics will be discussed later in the book so I'll focus more on them later.
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