Some students believe that they are not mathematically gifted; therefore incapable of learning mathematics. I believe the contrary, that all students with motivation sustained by the teacher and confidence in their mathematical skills are essential to the student’s success in the classroom. I include reflection in my daily practices to encourage students to be reflective, while developing their ability to learn and innovate. In my opinion, reflection is fundamental for students to be able to manage complex thinking processes and outcomes adequately. Reflective practices aid learners to expand their understanding of concepts by creating new connections and relating different ideas; and can guide them to understand themselves as learners by maximizing their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses. To support my students to become independent and reflective learners, I consider two complementary types of reflection: Reflecting on what is being accomplished to support deeper understanding of the concepts; and making learning itself an object of reflection to support student self-regulation and independent learning. I refer to the Socratic Method, Bloom’s Taxonomy of Critical Thought and Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences when I am creating my daily lesson plans to assure that I teach to a variety of learning styles. By teaching to these learning styles and presenting the concept in the ways stated above, I create an atmosphere where success for the student is probable. I consider success to be more likely because not only am I presenting information multiple ways, but I am also encouraging students who understand the material to help others who do not; therefore giving the students a view of the material from their peers. Creating this success is the first step in motivation. I believe that once the students understand that math is a subject that they can understand, their confidence and motivation will increase therefore making them more apt to put forth more effort in the math classroom.
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