Discuss a time when you overcame a struggle in learning and learned to solve a problem. As a teacher, share a personal story about a time you had to work hard to get better at some-thing and relate it to the video. In your story, highlight: 1.Hard work 2.Strategies 3.Help from others
Here’s an example below of a personal story to share with students:
When I was in middle school, I remember struggling with adding negative numbers. I had a hard time figuring out what a ‘negative’ even meant when talking about a number - how can you have less than nothing? I ended up going through many practice problems and continuing to get many of them wrong. I was a very shy kid, so I didn’t ask my teacher many questions. My thought was that I had reached ‘the peak’ of my math talent, and it was all downhill from here. I eventually asked my mom about this topic and she explained to me the basic concept of negative numbers. This helped me understand it a little, but it was still fuzzy to me. I then researched online for some real-life contexts to show what these mysterious numbers represented outside of some abstract universe. Some of them made sense, and others didn’t. I still didn’t entirely get it and I was so frustrated that I wanted to just give up (or continue hoping that negative numbers were not going to appear in math class ever again). I started to dislike math simply because I couldn’t understand it anymore. Instead of entirely giving up on my academic career, I eventually mustered up the courage to ask my teacher for help as well. She explained it in a few different ways, and gave me new strategies to try out. After some practice with these new strategies, I started to solidify my understanding of negatives which allowed me to quickly pick up basic algebra afterwards. While it was a lot of work and I wanted to give up at many points during my journey, I eventually was able to ‘rewire’ my brain so that negative numbers actually made sense to me.
In a small group, ask students to share a story about a time that they made their brains smarter. This leads to a discussion about how working hard, taking on challenges, and finding the right strategy can make people smarter. In the case that your students are not ready to be vocal with their classmates about their stories, it might be a good idea to try Part III (below) after sharing your personal story instead. See original lesson for Part III- write a letter to a future student...