All about Mr. Heath's interventions:
This year, Mr. Heath is piloting a math intervention class. He focuses on remedial skill development with a cross section of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. In addition to mathematical skills and concepts, Mr. Heath focuses on developing curiosity and problem solving skills as he reinforces the idea of failing forward, taking risks, and trying new strategies until you find what works best for you. Throw in a sprinkle of what we affectionately refer to as "Heath-isms" and you have a space that is full of joy, laughter, and a lot of math hustling.
A recent interview with Mr. Heath:
Why is this work important to you? Explain how this is a demonstration of the pillar THINK:
"When my son played football-- what mattered wasn't if he won or lost, it wasn’t the victory. It was the attempt. I view failure as not trying; and winning as trying and failing. Through Math interventions I can make math a story in addition to making it about computation. I talk about the history behind things and apply the computation later -- and then we do a lot of hands on work! This is an example of the pillar THINK because it pushes students to think beyond getting the correct answer. I let them know that I myself struggled with math and openly talk about this. I push them to keep trying and “Be a Math Hustler”. This is the mantra. They have to THINK that winning isn’t everything, but wanting it is."
What is the impact of Math Interventions on our students + community?
"Students now think Math is cool. I meet students where they are and emphasize the “personal performance character” mantra - this is determined focus. I walk around and ask students if they are on task, if they are demonstrating determination, as opposed to saying “do your work."
Why is this pillar important to you?
"If a student is not paying attention, I ask “are we focused?” or “are we being determined?” It’s the wording that changes their THINKing, and therefore their character."
What are your ideas as to how we can embody this pillar more often moving forward?
"Using your words, especially when talking to a child. One thing I never tell a child is that they are wrong. I won’t say you are wrong, never say the words “wrong” or “fix it”, tell them you see a mistake. This allows for anyone to believe the possibility of a different outcome. “Wrong” shuts them down."
If you could share one piece of wisdom or insight related to this pillar with our community, what would it be?
"Let students know you are flawed and how you overcame those flaws to become the teacher or person you are today."