Three more sleeps!

Three more sleeps and then it’s back to school! Hope you are enjoying the long weekend.

Do you hear this at your house? “I’m just not good at math . . . my parents weren’t good at math, my grandparents weren’t good at math . . . it’s just genetic ” Fact or Fiction?

District Principal of Numeracy Val Edgell explains recent research has shown that mathematical understanding is far less determined by genetics, and far more influenced by persistence and hard work. That’s great news!

It turns out that believing math can be fun, and that you can get better at math throughout your life, is a huge determining factor in how well people learn to think mathematically. Brain research has shown that the mathematical areas of the brain can grow enough to be easily measured on brain scans, in people of all ages from infants to elderly.

Photo by David Cassolato on

In fact, the greatest times of brain growth are when people are working with material that is hard. Brain growth results from working through challenges, making mistakes, correcting them, making more mistakes, persisting and figuring it out.

You will see many examples of this during this school year as problem solving pushes to the forefront of our math education. No longer is problem solving something you do at the end of the math lesson, where you practiced 50 multiplication facts and then solved a ‘problem’ at the end by, you guessed it, multiplying the two numbers. Problem solving is when you have to choose a strategy, try it, evaluate your answer to see if it makes sense, and try again if it doesn’t. 

Rapid brain growth here we come!

Edgell is part of a team of four educators who will be working with all SD83 schools and school teams to support instruction of numeracy concepts.

The team has developed critical concepts that guide teachers in what the important ‘must know’ concepts are at each grade level. SD83 will also be implementing its own district-wide Math assessment to help identify areas of strength and areas needing support for all our students. Students in kindergarten through grade 9 will write the assessment twice, once in the Fall and then again in the Spring.

The team will also be supporting high school teams and students as students prepare for the new Provincial Numeracy Assessment.