Sonoma County Office of Education

Blog: Mathematical Identity: What is the role of math class?

What is the role of math class?

Author: Josh Deis
Published: 04.26.16

Everyone who teaches math should step back and answer this question for themselves. I want students to connect with mathematics and see it as a powerful tool for understanding their world. In order for students to do this they need to have a healthy relationship with mathematics.   

Inside the classroom walls I believe there are important components that need to be in place to build a strong math identity in students. Here is my quick list that is by no means exhaustive:

  • rich tasks
  • mistakes play an important role
  • students are making sense of their own thinking and the thinking of others

Listen to Emliy Akinshin from Oak Grove Elementary talk about her thinking on this:

Here is the Austin's Butterfly Video that Emily mentions.

Austin's Butterfly: Building Excellence in Student Work from EL Education on Vimeo.


Blog: Mathematical Identity

Leilan, Student
"I like Amarosa because there's a much smaller student count and so teachers can be one-on-one with you. They can actually help you and be one-on-one with you while the class is doing something else. I feel like that's a huge game-changer." - Leilan, Student