Mathematics is a subject that can be a challenge for many students. Instead of running away or giving up in the face of difficulties, we want to encourage our learners to embrace challenges and persevere through difficult problems. When students experience struggle and discomfort in the process of learning math, they often feel that they are not good enough to succeed.
However, productive struggle in mathematics is necessary to promote deep and meaningful learning and develops growth mindset. As teachers, we need to provide opportunities for our students to engage in productive struggle while supporting them every step of the way. In this blog post, we will explore strategies to promote productive struggle in mathematics, empower students to embrace challenges, and support their learning and growth.
1. Promote a Growth Mindset:
Developing a growth mindset helps students embrace challenges and persist through challenges. Praising effort and not just achievement, discussing mistakes and how to learn from them, and teaching them that intelligence is malleable help students adopt growth mindset. Reminding your students that struggle is a necessary part of the learning process can help them see challenges as growth opportunities. Brainstorm with your students what they think success means or how they define success, and point out that challenging tasks that require hard work can lead to progress and success. This keeps students motivated to persevere and embrace challenges when they come up, knowing there is potential for growth and development. 2. Engage Students in Challenging Activities: A classroom that houses challenging activities will enhance students' problemsolving and critical thinking skills. Teachers can create math activities that are not only challenging but also allow for creativity, collaboration, and experimentation. Engaging activities reduce students' fear of making mistakes while in the learning process as it shouldn't be trampled. Students actively involved in challenging activities learn how to think outside the box, explore and fix their mistakes in multiple ways. 3. Provide Opportunities for SelfEvaluation: It is vital for students to selfevaluate, analyze their learning progress, strengths, and weakness, and plan what they can do better. Selfevaluation helps students identify their mistakes and understand why they made them so they can learn from them. They can also identify areas where they may need additional support or practice. This gives students ownership of their learning and can foster selfmotivation and selfconfidence. 4. Encourage dialogue Allow students to ask for help and talk to each other about their problem solving techniques. This allows for feedback, brainstorming, and can lead to new insights. When students engage in dialogue, they can articulate their thought process and ways to solve mathematical problems, leading to a better understanding of concepts. 5. Provide feedback and positive reinforcement Feedback is crucial to students' success because it helps them understand what they need to do and how to make progress. When providing feedback, emphasize effort, progress, and what they have learned. Positive feedback allows them to recognise accomplishments and selfassessments interpreting the significance of success even in the slightest progress made. Conclusion: Promoting productive struggle in mathematics and encouraging students to embrace challenges is a crucial aspect of supporting and nurturing their growth and development. Developing a growth mindset, engaging students in challenging activities, providing opportunities for selfevaluation, encouraging dialogue, and providing feedback and positive reinforcement are strategies that teachers can employ to empower their students to embrace challenges. We have a critical role as educators to support our students' learning needs by creating a classroom culture that encourages and supports productive struggle. Remember that productive struggle is an opportunity to learn and grow; it should never hinder student success because success is earned through trying and failing and correcting mistakes. Ultimately, by empowering our students to embrace challenges, we help them develop the skills and confidence necessary to excel and reach their full potential in mathematics and beyond.
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AuthorA 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife. This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies. Opt Out of Cookies 
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