Learning and Classroom Environment can be viewed through the following graphic representation. Positive Nurturing Relationships (including Supporting Families) is intrinsic within the other contributing facets: Physical Environment, Fostering a Math-Rich Classroom, and Math Tools and Resources.
- Nurturing Positive Relationships.
There are many reasons to foster positive relationships in a Math classroom. It is important to create positive, nurturing relationships between student and teacher in addition to building relationships between and among peers.
- Physical Environment.
“The environment…conveys the message that this is a place where adults have thought about the quality and instructive power of space. The layout of the physical space is welcoming and fosters encounters, communication, and relationships. The arrangement of structures, objects, and activities encourages choices, problem solving, and discoveries in the process of learning.”(Curtis & Carter, 2003, p. 13)1
- Fostering a Mathematically Rich Classroom.
Approaching math with a holistic view of the student and the intent to encourage students to learn from mistakes, to persevere in overcoming challenges and to recognize and enjoy success, will invite students of mathematics to reach their potential. We need to communicate high expectations to all learners.
It is essential for the teacher to nurture a positive disposition toward the learning of math (i.e. a growth mindset) where students see themselves as capable learners.
- Math Tools and Resources.
There are many kinds of manipulatives that are commercially available in addition to manipulatives which can be made from common objects that are purchased inexpensively or found in one’s environment. Experiment and find manipulatives that work well for your students and are best suited for the mathematical concept.
Ultimately, the goal of establishing a mathematically rich environment is to foster a well-rounded mathematical learner as illustrated by the following infographic:
Supporting Families (Click here for more)
In Saskatchewan, we are committed to improving our students’ achievement in mathematics. Our vision is that Saskatchewan children will be confident math learners who have a deep level of understanding of mathematics. This will serve them throughout their lives and provide them with many job and career opportunities. When students have this mathematical knowledge and skill set they will confidently and competently:
- Solve problems and make sound decisions.
- Calculate with ease.
- Understand patterns and trends so that predictions can be made.
- Manage time and money.
- Handle everyday situations that involve numbers.
“Parent engagement matters. Study after study has shown us that student achievement improves when parents play an active role in their children’s education, and that good schools become even better schools when parents are involved…”2
1Curtis, D., & Carter, M. (2003). Designs for living and learning: Transforming early childhood environments. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press. (as quoted in Saskatchewan Reads. n.d. Learning and Classroom Environment. [online] Available at: <https://saskatchewanreads.wordpress.com/learning-environment/>.)
2Ontariodirectors.ca (2015) Inspiring Your Child to Learn and Love Math – Resource Guide. [online] Available at: <https://www.ontariodirectors.ca/parent_engagement-math/downloads/docs/en/module01_resource_guide_2015-09-21.pdf> [Accessed 12 November 2021]. Publication can be downloaded directly from https://saskmath.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/module01_resource_guide_2015-09-21.pdf