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Never give up

Julie Noble
Northfield PS
Alberton Cluster


Finding 3.4: Resilience
Explicitly help Indigenous learners develop and maintain positive attitudes to mathematics. Develop positive dispositions, resilience, and skills that equip learners to solve problems whatever the context.

“In the classroom context, the more resilient the student the more able they are to learn.”1

Initially, to develop a culture where everyone inspires and encourages each other’s learning, I created a mathematical project based on persevering entitled Never Give Up! The students and I were developing our understandings of the meta-language associated with resilience and how to effectively use resilience strategies to foster a deeper mathematical knowledge. Our experiences stimulated new connections with how to explicitly investigate mathematical learning using the precise language and strategies of resilience in a meaningful way.

To personalise and make the learning authentic for this group of students I constructed a resilience dodecagon board with the strategies placed around to look like the spokes on a wheel. Each child had six small photographs of themselves to Velcro alongside a strategy they used when working mathematically on a task. Using this visual tool in a physical way enabled the students to share which strategies they used and why. They were being explicit about what it means to be resilient in mathematics. They were teaching each other!

In the beginning the resilience language used to describe their thinking, learning andstrategies for working mathematically was too complex and the students were having problems understanding what the processes were. To simplify and clarify meaning for students in reception they were adapted to include a verb.
The students in my class have been the ‘main players’ and I thank them for the learning, the challenges, the successes, the rethinks and the fun we have had in developing our understanding of how we can connect resilience strategies with mathematics.

1. Allen J, Murray M, Simmons K 2005, How to succeed with developing resilience, Curriculum Corporation Victoria.


Some focus questions to prompt discussions with your colleagues:

  1. Why is it important for students to have resilience in mathematics learning?
  2. How resilient are you as a teacher when it comes to using mathematics?
  3. What other interesting or important aspects are in this Significant Episode?

See Julie' s Unit of Learning Why use stories? to find out more about her approach to teaching.

Never give up

Download the PDF of this significant episode.

never_give_up_3.4.pdf 1,000.11 kB