Math Seminar Classroom

Can Mindset Affect Learning? - Our Philosophies About Growth Mindset and Failure

Math Seminar class is about more than just math!  This is a class that focuses on developing students with a growth mindset towards life long learning.  Through ongoing lessons and activities, students will learn the importance of growth mindset, collaboration, grit and failure.  We will then apply these ideas to improving in mathematics.

What is mindset?  Dr. Carol Dweck, a developmental psychologist from Stanford University has identified that people have either a fixed or a growth mindset.  This mindset can play an important factor in the way a child learns.  Here are some of the characteristics of growth and fixed minded people...

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We believe that ALL students can succeed.  Yes - it will take hard work, perseverance and motivation, but all students can succeed.  This is the idea of growth mindset.  

How do we know the brain can get stronger?  Neuroscience supports it!  Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change and adapt.  When we are challenged with learning new things, new connections are made in our brain.  The task might be difficult at first - but the more we practice, the easier it becomes.  The brain acts much like a muscle.  For example, when you lift weights you actually tear your muscles a bit.  Your muscles repair themselves and as a result become bigger and stronger.  The next time you try to lift it may be easier - you may even need to increase your weight!  The same is true for our brain.  There is no end to our potential. 
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Math Seminar students will be given challenging tasks.  They will struggle and make mistakes and fail.  And all of this will be applauded because we know that this means they are making new connections in their brains.  We do not expect our students to be perfect - but we do expect them to use their mistakes as learning opportunities.  They will get growth-producing feedback on those things that they haven't mastered quite YET...and their growth and effort will be celebrated often.  

You Failed - Meet the Robinsons

We need your help!  Here are some ideas of how you can continue the work of developing a growth mindset in your child from home.  These ideas aren't just for students - you may find something useful in it too! 



Welcome to Ms. Schaefer and Ms. Fabio's Math Seminar Website!  Check the announcements below and the calendar to the left to keep up with our current happenings in Math Seminar class.  Please email us with any questions that you might have.

Welcome to Math Seminar!  Here are the supplies that will be needed for class...
1 - Composition Notebook (College Ruled)
1 - Two Pocket Portfolio Folder
Dry Erase Markers and Pencils
(The composition notebook will travel back and forth each day and will be used for the ALEKS Computer Program classwork/homework.  The folder will remain in the classroom to help organize all of the students data from testing.  Dry erase markers will be used in class daily.)
Please have all of these supplies by Friday, September 1st!



Ms. Schaefer and Ms. Fabio will be grading ALEKS each week for Math Seminar class.  The following rubric shows the breakdown of points.  10 points will be possible each week.  We will grade ALEKS each Monday for the previous week.  Students may work on the weekends…but it’s not required or necessary.  The easiest way to reach our goal of 2 hours per week is to work Monday – Thursday for 30 minutes at home.  We will typically only get about 1 hour of ALEKS work at school during the week - so the remainder of the time needs to be done at home. 

Students should only be working in the ALEKS My Pie while at home.  Calculators are not allowed unless the program has a calculator available for them.  Do not spend time doing the “Review Items” or “Quick Tables” as this doesn’t count towards their time and topics.  Students may work in Quick Tables and play the fact fluency games, but they should be doing this after their time is done for the evening.

I will be sending home weekly emails through the ALEKS program to update you about your student’s progress in ALEKS for the week.  If you’d like to receive these emails, please follow the instructions to verify this process by following the link in the email that you received from the ALEKS program.

10 points each week

Time Completed

# of Topics Added

into My Pie

Work Shown in

ALEKS notebook

2 – 1.5 hours – 4 points

7 – 8 added topics – 4 points

Work shown to Mrs. Schaefer 2 days out of the week – 2 points

1.5 – 1 hours – 3 points

5 – 6 added topics – 3 points

Work shown to Mrs. Schaefer 1 day out of the week – 1 point

0.5 – 1 hour – 2 points

3 – 4 added topics – 2 points

No work shown – 0 points

0 – 0.5 hour – 1 point

0 – 2 added topics – 1 point



Having trouble getting ALEKS to work on your home computer?  Check out the program's minimum system requirements - you may need to update Internet Explorer, Firefox or Java on your computer!  Follow this link to find out...