Last night we welcomed 25 + parents to join us to experience the changes we are making to our math program @BelfastCBE (yes this is a twitter handle). We started the evening led by our Assistant Principal @Janaelguebaly. She set the stage for why visual, experiential and challenging learning in math is so essential to student learning. Afterwards our parents rotated through 3 learning experiences meant to highlight 3 aspects of our math program ( See Diagram Below). First up was #MrUrsenbach, @D_Boud and @D_C_Fraser teaching ways to sharpen the saw using games that help students to build their skills with math facts and concepts. We have been focusing on what we call “Sharpening the Saw” activities as an important component of our math program. These practice activities are meant to increase student automaticity and flexibility. We have learned that it’s important that students don’t think of these activities in isolation as math, but rather the tools that make math easier and more accessible. Currently our staff are exploring 3 different ways to build math muscles through computational fluency, visualization and reflection (eg. writing about math).
At the end of the night I have to say I was so impressed by the confidence and the leadership that was shown by all of our teachers! It has been a few short months that we have been thinking about math differently but it was clear from watching that each of our teaching has done so much learning already! It was also a privilege to take a step back (to get out of the way) and be part of the learning with everyone else. I am a very proud principal and very grateful to work with such committed and passionate teacher / learners. I have the sense this is only the beginning of a renewed conversation with our community about how math is living in our building! @LoriHolford Ps In case you missed it, teachers names are represented with their twitter handles. Also check out @BelfastCBE ! "Thank you for this, I'm never really sure how I can help my daughter but now I feel more confident sharing what I know and helping her the way she visualizes the math." I'd like to send a HUGE thank you to all of our Belfast Casino Volunteers who gave their time to make sure that we had the opportunty to bring significant funding into our school.
Thank you to the following people, Thursday (and into the wee small hours) Tammy L, Lorraine, Andrew G, Steven B, Leslie S, Rick W, Cheryl D, Keith S., Gaby V. Patti W., Ian D., Rob R., Dean Mc., Lisa M. AshleeRaye G. Friday (and into the wee small hours) Tammy L., Lorraine, Andrew G., John M., Jeff L., Wendy C., Rob M., Lori K., Nannette F., Amber A., Sonya R., Mireille, Michelle P., Beth R., Pat P., Bonnie S., Jeremy L. Lori K. Amber A., You have made an incredible contribution to our school, our resources and our programing! In the past our Casino's have raised between $60 000 and $80 000! There is no other fundraiser that raises so much in as short a period of time! On behalf or our students and staff thank you all so much! Lori Holford Principal Have you ever heard your child (or yourself) say " I can't do math because I don't have a math brain" or "I don't like math because I am no good at it?" Well, Belfast staff and students are working this year on changing their mathematical mindsets! All staff completed a course this summer through Stanford University called Mathematical Mindsets, offered by researcher and educator Jo Boaler. In this course we have learned that:
As an artcentered school, we of course have attracted many artcentered staff! For many of us looking at OURSELVES differently as math learners has been incredibly empowering, and shifting the mathematical mindsets of our students is truly an awesome experience. There are no better words for a teacher than hearing, "Oh my gosh! I totally get it now!!!" We are hoping to share our mathematical mindset with you, our parents, at our #belfasty Parent Math Night this Tuesday Nov 28 @6 pm. If you can't make it, here is a slideshow that offers a quick overview, plus a truly awesome video from Jo Boaler herself. We hope this opens the conversation for how we can all create the best math learners that your children can be! Jana ElGuebaly Assistant Principal 
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