Highlighting Ideas from Necessary Conditions: Teaching Secondary Math with Academic Safety, Quality Tasks, and Effective Facilitation by Geoff Krall.
It’s November. School is well underway. The beginning of the school year with its community-building routines and focus on getting to know new students may seem like a distant memory. And yet, sometimes, especially this school year with the immense challenges of teaching during a pandemic, there are students who are harder to get to know, both personally and mathematically. As the units, standards, and pacing guides keep us rolling along, it can be challenging to keep some of the identity-building ideas in focus: What do students believe math is all about? And how do they feel about themselves as doers of mathematics?
In his book, Necessary Conditions, Geoff Krall writes about the importance of keeping academic safety front and center in our work throughout the school year and throughout students’ entire experience with math in school. In brief, academic safety involves: 1) creating an accurate representation of the discipline of mathematics, and 2) communicating to each student and all students--with words and actions--that they are mathematicians.
So as we head into this month and the school year ahead, we’re sharing some resources from Necessary Conditions that may help you in the work of building a community of mathematical thinkers in an academically safe secondary classroom:
- Chapter 3: Math and Academic Safety
- Appendix L: Math Mindsets and Attitudes Student Survey and Appendix M: Math Mindsets and Attitudes Student Survey and Facilitation Guide
You can read more about Necessary Conditions by Geoff Krall and check out related resources including a free study guide and companion website here.