While attending the South Dakota Math and Science Conference, I had the opportunity to attend a great session focused on our struggling students and how to help them achieve. I am sharing with the hope that you will also find the information valuable and begin thinking about this for your struggling students.

Sharon Rendon, MS/HS Math Coordinator, in Rapid City, South Dakota and Bjorg Remmers-Seymour, math teacher working with at risk students in Rapid City Schools, Rapid City, South Dakota provided the following information:

**Struggling Learners Find Success in First Year Algebra**

Bjorg is using the following content and strategies with the assistance of Sharon Rendon, math coordinator:

**Agile Mind-Intensified Algebra - **

- HS algebra designed for students 2 years behind in math content
- For students missing the middle school content
- This is a time to fix the broken pieces from the past
- Extended time – 70 minute class period – you need to have this amount – no less
- Every unit has 3 parts – math/mindset/math
- First 2 weeks are spent setting the culture of the classroom
- The missing Middle School pieces are embedded within the HS standards
- Mindset – you can grow your mind – some may call this fluff but it is carefully designed ways to motivate growth
- Never assume they know things – how to listen, how to say I don’t understand, remove the coping habits they have built

Process for empowering student with a failure mindset to be successful:

- How your brain works and grows
- Applying effort consistently
- Metacognition
- How learning feels and confusion is a part of learning
- Motivation
- Communication in a learning community

**Help students see their growth – remember when we did this at the beginning and now look where we are!**

Format of the day:

- Lesson
- Core activity
- Your mindset – how learning math feels
- Confusion – talk about this – normal part of learning

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