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5 Ways to Promote a Positive Math Mindset

Do you want to create an environment in your classroom where students take risks and feel confident? Here are 5 ways to promote a positive math mindset in your classroom.

1. Display a math affirmation mirror. Students love to look at themselves in the mirror, right? Well, why not use that as a way to shift their mindset? Students can visit the mirror when they are struggling and pick an affirmation to recite. You could have students recite one of the affirmations when they come into your classroom as a way to start class off on a positive note as well. No matter how you use it, just having the positive affirmations on display shows that you are a teacher that wants the students in your class to succeed.

2. Be mindful of the words you use to communicate mistakes in front of class. Students are very focused on how they are viewed amongst their peers. Use your words as a way to encourage students and not embarrass them in front of their peers.

3. Create a classroom culture that recognizes mistakes as a way to grow. I love this one because I make SOOOO many mistakes and I want use my mistakes as a way to show students that it is normal and it is a way to learn and grow. I even go as far as to let the students point out my mistakes and we count them! I put the count on a prominent place on my board so it is always visible. I use the quote, “Mistakes help us grow” and count the mistakes as seen in the picture below. It helps the students recognize that no one is perfect, not even the person teaching them! Have

4. Utilize feedback frequently! Don’t rely on the end result or test to be the only way for students to demonstrate their knowledge. The more feedback that you give students throughout the process or learning, the more students will have an opportunity to show their knowledge and learn from their mistakes.

5. Create math lessons that are engaging and worthwhile. If students are invested in a task, they will be more likely to take risks and persevere through challenges and mistakes.

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  1. Hi Annette! I love your focus on positivity and a growth mindset in math education. Can you elaborate on how you address students make a mistake during a math lesson? Could you share what specific verbiage or redirection you may give to to continue to grow student confidence and encourage learning from mistakes? Thanks! Katie

    1. Hi Katie,
      Sometimes I have a count of how many mistakes I make on the board. I try to foster an environment where it is ok to make mistakes and grow from them! Many times I ask them to try again or think about it differently and give a hint about a way to think differently. If in the classroom it is ok to make mistakes, they are more willing to keep trying! I hope this helps.

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