The Encinitas Union School District is working to remove “I can’t” from students’ vocabularies. The district partnered with the digital math platform TenMarks to implement the “With Math I Can” initiative in local schools. Classrooms are already seeing an improvement in standardized test scores, undoubtedly related to the success of the innovative new program.
“With Math I Can” encourages students to adopt a growth mindset toward learning, which is characterized by a willingness to embrace new challenges, and use logic and critical thinking to work through unfamiliar problems rather than relying on rigid instruction. The approach confronts notoriously negative attitudes that students often associate with math. Discussions about students’ personal feelings towards math facilitate an understanding that frustration with difficult problems or concepts is a stage of learning rather than failure or personal shortcoming. Strategies for overcoming such difficulties are developed in the classroom – a contrast to the traditional black-and-white, wrong-or-right perspective promoted by test score-based curriculum.
According to the Encinitas Patch, elementary teachers are thrilled by the student response to the program. Student attitudes and test scores alike are optimistic.
Encinitas is home to some of the highest-ranked school districts in California. Encinitas schools continue to lead in innovative education.