Norms and Expectations In Math Class

  • Everyone Can Learn Math to the Highest Level.

    There is no such thing as "math people."  Your brain is a million times better than any computer at processing information and learning.  No matter where you think you are in terms of your own math ability, you can always build and improve upon it to tackle any challenges in algebra. 

    Mistakes are Valuable.

    As Thomas Edison once said about his failures in making the lightbulb, "I haven't failed, I just found 1,000 ways that won't work."  It's through our mistakes that we learn the most.  Don't be afraid to make mistakes this year.

    Questions are Really Important.

    You must ask question! We are all equally clueless going into algebra. That why it's called "Learning" and not "Stuff I Know Already!"  Always ask questions if you don't understand, or are curious about the applications. 

    Math is about creativity and making sense.

    No two people think exactly the same way.  I want you to feel comfortable about coming up with an answer differently than the people at your table.  More importantly though, I want you to be able to explain how you come up with your answers so that others can understand.

    Math is about connections and communicating.

    Everything in math is connected.  As we progress through algebra this year, you will see familiar concepts come up over and over again.  Feel free to talk or ask about these connections as come across them. 

    Check out this video to see an example of how connected math is.


    Depth is much more important than speed.

    Do not feel that being slow at math means not being good at math.  I was, and still am, slower than my peers at mental calculations, and I majored in the subject.  What makes a person good at math is having a strong understanding of the concepts and connections in math. You'll always have as much time as need on tests this year.

    Math class is about learning, not performing.

    I care more about how you get your answer than I do about your answer.  Math is about the problem solving process and not a calculated answer.