Did you know that math can actually hurt? It’s been shown that math can cause actual physical pain in people who are already anxious about it. To be fair, it’s the thought of doing math rather than the actual math itself (I mean, math IS awesome!) but all jokes aside, this is a real thing for some kids, especially those who have failed repeatedly.
We display our student work on our classroom fridge to remember what success feels like. I give lots of activities and lots of different types of opportunities to earn points. Very few kids fail my classes. The second part of my job that I take very seriously is taking the mystery and pain out of math so that my students want to go on to take more math classes. When a kid sees a 100% proudly displayed on our classroom wall, it doesn’t matter if that assignment was specifically set up for her to get that 100%. All that matters is that it’s there, it’s felt, and it’s remembered the next day when the task is more challenging.
Thank you, Shana, for sharing your insight into working with special education students! I know we all want each and everyone of our students to experience the feeling of success. Be sure to check out her blog, Scaffolded Math and Science for more resources! And, leave her a comment to say thanks for sharing!