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Learning is powerful when it is social—when we learn with and from each other. Social Awareness & Relationship Skills are essential for forming and maintaining positive relationships and are a key component to learner success, including learning math.
Social Awareness is the understanding of social norms for behavior and the ability to understand the perspectives and feelings of others. Social Awareness allows children to empathize with people from diverse backgrounds and to recognize the Social Supports available from family members, at school, and in the community. Adolescents are developing a greater understanding of facets of their own identities (e.g., race, gender, sexual identity) and how society views those identities.
Relationship Skills are specific interpersonal skills based on Social Awareness that allow students to communicate and get along with others, cooperate, and prevent and resolve interpersonal conflicts. During adolescence, the need to belong and "fit in" with peers is heightened. Adolescents are therefore particularly sensitive to social comparisons, peer influence, and social rejection. As relationships with peers become more important, their behavior in the classroom may be restricted by their concerns about what their peers think of them.
Students with strong Social Awareness & Relationship Skills show lower levels of conduct problems and emotional distress and better social adjustment and academic achievement.
Building positive and trusting relationships with learners allows them to feel safe; a sense of belonging; and that their academic, cognitive, and social and emotional needs are supported.
As students solve problems in a group, they learn new strategies and practice communicating their mathematical thinking.
Students are more likely to come to school when families feel like a valued part of the community.
The flipped classroom has two parts: cooperative group activities in class and digitally-based individual instruction out of class.
Teachers can help students understand that learning involves effort, mistakes, and reflection by teaching them about their malleable brain and modeling their own learning process.
As students walk through stations working in small groups, the social and physical nature of the learning supports deeper understanding.
Having space where students can go supports Self-regulation and individual deliberate practice.
As students work with and process information by discussing, organizing, and sharing it together, they deepen their understanding.
Math centers with math games, manipulatives, and activities support learner interests and promote the development of more complex math skills and social interactions.
When students have meaningful discussions about math and use math vocabulary, they develop the thinking, questioning, and explanation skills needed to master mathematical concepts.
Short breaks that include mindfulness quiet the brain to allow for improved thinking and emotional regulation.
Multiple tables and chairs on wheels allow for setting up the classroom to support the desired learning outcomes of each activity.
Brain breaks that include movement allow learners to refresh their thinking and focus on learning new information.
Multiple display spaces help develop oral language skills as well as Social Awareness & Relationship Skills by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Multiple writing surfaces promote collaboration by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Having students teach their knowledge, skills, and understanding to their classmates strengthens learning.
Maintaining consistent classroom routines and schedules ensures that students are able to trust and predict what will happen next.
When teachers connect math to the students' world, students see how math is relevant and applicable to their daily lives.
Students deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning when they explain to and receive feedback from others.
Children's literature can be a welcoming way to help students learn math vocabulary and concepts.
Multicultural resources, such as posters with different types of people and word problems based in different settings, allow all students to see themselves in their math work.
When students create their own number and word problems, they connect math concepts to their background knowledge and lived experiences.
Students deepen their math understanding as they use and hear others use specific math language in informal ways.
Wait time, or think time, of three or more seconds after posing a question increases how many students volunteer and the length and accuracy of their responses.
Analyzing and discussing solved problems helps students develop a deeper understanding of abstract mathematical processes.
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