In the last 10 minutes of class on our first day together, I show my students this “I am a math person” frame that I made and tell them that we need to breathe it into existence. If we come in with the mindset of “this is just another math class to get through,” we are not going to grow as much as someone with the mindset of “this is an opportunity for me to feel better about my mathematical abilities.” I have students take a picture with this math frame with their phone and I tell them to keep it on their phone for now.
Last semester, I decided to bookend my class. In addition to taking a picture with the frame on the first day of class, I have them reflect on how they have grown as a math person as one of their last assignments. Students respond on a Google Slide deck so the class can see each other’s responses and growth.
It might look like a small act but it is one of my favorite staples of my class. Let me know if you do this in your class!
Thank you for reading!