I believe that the teacher’s beliefs about mathematics highly influences their classroom environment and how the students act in the classroom setting. When a teacher shares their mathematical beliefs with their students, the students will have an idea of how the class will be taught, and what their expectations should be. For example, if I believe that mathematics is simply drill and practice, my students will expect to have many worksheets on solving similar questions over and over again, and they might have a sense that the class will be taught through the traditional approach; lecture, examples, and worksheets. However, if I believe that mathematics is something that students explore and discover, my students will expect to be given questions that require more reflecting and understanding, as opposed to a one line answer. My students would have a sense that the class will be taught through an inquiry approach, where the students discover and understand concepts using their own problem solving skills as opposed to being told what to do and how to do it. I believe mathematics is important to learn because it is everywhere in the world. People use mathematics every day, whether it be estimating what your total will be while grocery shopping, or working as an engineer and using advanced mathematics everyday. Obviously people won’t be using the quadratic formula everyday, or they might never use it at all, but people should see that mathematics is used in everyday lives. I believe mathematics is something that everyone should know and come to love because it helps you in many different ways.

- I believe that students should be discovering and exploring different ways to approach a question, as opposed to being given one solution path and solely following that specific path.
- I believe mathematics should be taught through an inquiry approach where students are expected to develop their own understandings of mathematics, but still allow time for the traditional approach to take place if need be.
- I believe students should be allowed to use different manipulatives when understanding mathematics, and I believe these manipulatives should be accessible at all times. These manipulatives may include connecting blocks, graphing calculators, peg boards, technology, etc.
- I believe mathematics is something that is used in everyday lives and should be taught in a way where students will see that they can use their mathematical knowledge outside of the classroom setting.
- I believe mathematics is something that everyone can come to understand if they are taught it through an approach that benefits them. This is why I believe teachers should make adaptations and accommodations for students, and should differentiate their teaching instruction when teaching a mathematics lesson.

Jeremy Sundeen

said:As a student did you see a lot of inquiry in your math classes? If not, do you think it will be tough to teach in a way you were never taught? (I’m assuming you haven’t seen a lot, and I could be wrong!) I agree whole heartedly when you say “I believe mathematics is something that everyone can come to understand if they are taught it through an approach that benefits them” at times it can seem like a daunting task trying to differentiate for so many different learners, but that’s why we must continually grow professionally!

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