Although some would argue that I am a cookie monster and thus not able to think outside of the “C is for Cookie” box, I say: have you met my friend Mahsa?! Hee hee.
Today I will prove that I can distance myself from cookies long enough to tell you about the 5 C’s of mathematical engagement. (That being said, I should probably admit that as I write this, I am waiting for the oven to pre-heat so I can make cookies! Coincidence? Aha! Another C word! But I digress…)
How do you get children inspired about learning math? You get them excited about solving problems! And how do you get them excited? Get them engaged! And how do you get them engaged? With the 5 C’s of mathematical engagement (Jo Boaler, 2015)!
Find a problem that they want to find the answer to.
Find a problem that has connections with other subjects as well as connections with other strands of mathematics.
A problem is not a problem unless it poses a challenge to the learner. Find a problem that will lead to a productive struggle.
Find a problem that is open-ended in its methods or in its solutions, or even better, in both! A problem that encourages them to think critically AND creatively is ideal.
Find a problem that requires group work to solve. Encourage conversations. Make math social!
and if all else fails….EAT COOKIES!