The Edgartown School - A nationally-recognized blue ribbon school of excellence
Click here to log in

Quick links:   

You have reached the web page for Kate Lefer.
klefer (at)

Welcome to 5-8 Remedial Math Support


My name is Kate Lefer and I work to support 5-8 students in math.  This web page is a collection of resources for parents who are looking for ways to support their children in math at home.  I look forward to collaborating with you to help your child become a more confident and capable mathematician.


Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new"

-Albert Einstein



What is Mindset?


Mindset is an idea developed by world-­renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck

from decades of research on achievement and success. She lays out two mindsets: fixed and

growth. In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent,

are simply fixed traits. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be

developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This

view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for the setting of goals and the

reaching of great accomplishments. Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and

productivity in classrooms. Students who believe that intelligence is a potential that they can

develop do fare better when faced with challenges. Students can be taught that their intellectual

skills are things that can be cultivated -­ through their hard work, reading, education, confronting

of challenges, etc. When they are taught this, they seem naturally more eager for challenges,

harder work, and welcome obstacles.


Growth Mindset and Math


Math ability can be developed and when people start to believe that they can learn to high levels,

they change their learning pathways and achieve at higher levels. When students get the idea

that they are bad at math, they often maintain a negative relationship with math. Some people

incorrectly believe that math aptitude and ability is a gift that some have and others do not. This

is simply not true. Promoting growth, innovation, creativity in the questions posed as well as the

tasks presented is the key to finding fulfillment of math potential. This attitude and approach

gives students full reign to soar as mathematicians no matter what they have been told before by

other teachers.


Research about brain activity reveals some very interesting things. When you learn something

deeply, the synaptic activity will create lasting connection in your brain. This is anchored in

experience. Students raised in stimulating environments with growth mindset messages are

capable of anything. The very best opportunities come about when students believe in

themselves. Students with a growth mindset have more positive brain activity when they make

mistakes. Students with a growth mindset take on hard work and view mistakes as a challenge

and motivation to do more. Brains react with increased activity when we make mistakes.

The K-­12 Common Core State Mathematical Practices require students to make sense of

problems and persevere in solving them. As you can see, a growth mindset is necessary to help students tackle challenging problems.


File Cabinet File Cabinet for Mrs. Lefer's Page

October 2, 2017
5 Vocab Representation.pdf
Familiarize yourself with the models that students use to make meaning of mathematics in fifth grade.
Click here to download.

October 2, 2017
6 Vocab Representation.pdf
Familiarize yourself with the models that students use to make meaning of mathematics in sixth grade.
Click here to download.

October 2, 2017
7th Grade Vocab Representation.pdf
Familiarize yourself with the models that students use to make meaning of mathematics in seventh grade.
Click here to download.

Recommended sites
Parent Math Resources to Support Your Child in Mathematics
Here you will be able to select a grade from the left side menu. You will find Eureka Math Lesson Specific Homework Videos. There are also overviews of the modules (units) in the Eureka math program as well as parent/student homework guides.

G Suite Login