Loved That Lesson! August Edition–Getting Ready to Teach Perseverance!

Well…it’s my final “Loved That Lesson” of the summer…and September will have a REAL lesson to use!  For today, it’s another “I can’t wait to…” lesson!
So…what am I most excited about for this school year?  It’s hard to say…with each year comes new challenges and new excitement–but one thing I started last year that I am SO excited to continue is to explicitly teach about the concept of “perseverance”.
If you have read my posts about this in the past, you have probably gotten the feeling that I am passionate about teaching math and helping students learn to love math.   From the first day of school, I try to put students in situations where they are challenged and need to “persevere” to get to the finish line–and they need a lot of coaching along the way.  Many of them are used to things coming quickly and can easily get frustrated.  As a class, we practice encouraging each other and learn how to “help” without giving answers away.  It takes a lot of practice!
As the content last year become more difficult, I started to see a few more students start to struggle, so I figured it was time to revisit the idea of “sense making” and perseverance.  Together we reviewed what that meant and generated the following list.


I posted it at the front of the room and we referred to it often as we tackled our next units! I love coaching students through this type of problem…and I love to give them problems that have MORE than one answer…or even NO possible answer.  I want them to see that the journey is more important (when practicing perseverance) than a correct answer–don’t worry…we talk about accuracy and precision too!  To start the year, however, I want them to take risks!
problem solving teaching perseverance math practice standards
Cutting apart some tricky problems for my little mathematicians!
I keep a chart posted at all times with extra problems…there is never time for “What should I do now?”
We use our notebooks to glue in problems to work on our perseverance.  Sometimes we work alone…sometimes in teams.
Sometimes when a student has a really cool solution or organizes his/her work extremely well, I ask for the work to be transferred to a “learning poster” that we display and share.
So…I can’t wait to teach my students about working hard and doing hard work!  Want one of my freebies that gives a great problem to use with your students?  Just click below and it’s yours!  It’s just a sample from my big “Perseverance Problems” resource–but it would be a great team problem solving activity in those first weeks.  Want to give some of these problems a try?  Here’s a free sample.
Ready to just jump into the full resource with 24 perseverance problems?

By the way…check out my guest post today on Laura Candler’s “Corkboard Connections” as well where I talk about ways to incorporate more vocabulary instruction and engagement.