For the past two years I’ve had the privilege of working with 6 students to ‘extend their mathematical understanding.’
Previously I wrote a blog on relational understanding in comparison to instrumental understanding. You can read it here. As I come to the end half of the program, I’ve now reached an interesting point. Students are making accelerated growth through the program however the more crucial part is their reasoning and understanding through the program.
While in the confines of our EMU room they are able to justify, explore and reason through complex problems while also looking at their peers to see their new understanding and learning. However what comes next is the hardest part of all. Transferring knowledge into the classroom. Inviting teachers along for the journey. Seeing their growth in the EMU learning room but also allowing opportunities for them to achieve and feel success in the classroom.
How do we do this? Providing opportunities. Providing opportunities. And then providing more opportunities. Because when our vulnerable students are given chances to succeed in a safe space they can then see themselves as capable learners. So, while the title of the program is extending mathematical understanding, students also need to extend their mathematical confidence. This can’t only happen in the confines of our EMU room.