Toast Model

Can getting better at maths be about feelings,
not facts?

Introducing the Toast Model for growing your brain

At Date Palm, we want everyone to love learning. But what do we want children to do when they are stuck? Most of the time – it’s how they feel about being stuck that can make all the difference.

Being stuck or struggling is good for the brain. One way to think about that is the Toast Zone model which we use in all of our lessons.


Toasty tips for supporting your children and their feelings in each Zone:

 Jam Zone
Activities where children feel confident and are successful but not challenged.

Toast Zone
Where new learning happens. Learners need to take risks so they may make mistakes. Hopefully with the right resources and support they will feel confident enough to be able to persevere, acquire new skills and gain even more confidence.


Off the edge
When we’re challenged beyond our current level of resilience we may find ourselves Off the edge. If your child is feeling helpless or upset, effective learning cannot take place.


The research that inspired the Toast Zone Model

The Toast Model is inspired by Sue Johnston-Wilder’s Growth Zone Model (Johnston-Wilder et al, 2015) – which is a framework for understanding different learning experiences and the feelings associated with each. The Growth Zone Model also has strong links to Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck 2012).

To develop Mathematical Resilience you need to:

  1. Believe that brain capacity can be ‘grown’
  2. Understand ‘the point’ of learning – how it is everywhere in our everyday.
  3. Understand how to learn – even when you are stuck!
  4. Know you have support from; resources, school, family

See full article here.