Most Clicked Math Education SmartBrief Stories


1. N.Y. district reports 61% opt-out rate

Math Education SmartBrief | May 19, 2015

A majority of students in a New York school district opted out of annual testing this year. This article features one parent's motivation to opt her son out of testing and how district leaders are managing the sharp uptick in opt-outs. National Public Radio (05/18)


2. Will Common Core improve math instruction?

Math Education SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

The Common Core State Standards' emphasis on understanding a fraction as a number on a number line could have a positive effect on math instruction, writes Tom Loveless, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. In this commentary, he discusses how the approach can give students foundational math skills. Education Next (5/19)


3. Math "boot camp" prepares students for state test

Math Education SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Students at an elementary school in Virginia have been issued dog tags and camouflage as part of a math "boot camp" to prepare them for the state Standards of Learning exams. Over three days, the students will review math concepts and play games to sharpen their skills. The News & Advance (Lynchburg, Va.) (05/19)


4. Survey: Nonacademic factors affect achievement

Math Education SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

Nonacademic factors are some of the top barriers to student learning, according to a recent survey of the 2015 state Teachers of the Year. They identified family stress, poverty, and learning and psychological issues as key obstacles. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (05/19)


5. Tips for using UDL during instructional design

Math Education SmartBrief | May 19, 2015

Universal Design for Learning can help educators add personalized learning to a lesson during the instructional design phase, writes David Gordon with the Center for Applied Special Technology, which created the UDL framework. In this commentary, he defines UDL and offers tips for using it in the classroom. eSchool News (free registration) (05/19)


6. Students test catapult skills during final exam

Math Education SmartBrief | May 18, 2015

Students in an engineering class at a Colorado high school spent the year building catapults and then tested them as part of their final exam. The students received support and materials from local engineers who visited the schools to provide feedback during the year. The Montrose Daily Press (Colo.) (05/15)


7. Experts weigh in on Common Core performance tasks

Math Education SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards include open-ended questions often referred to as performance tasks. This article examines the pros and cons of these questions and whether they are more effective than traditional multiple-choice formats. The Hechinger Report (05/20)


8. Why one educator encourages struggle, failure

Math Education SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Educators should create assignments without clear, easy steps to teach students about failure and struggle that are a natural part of life, Texas biology teacher Helen Snodgrass writes in this blog post. She outlines how she creates lessons that challenge students to think creatively and improve the problem-solving skills that will help them in the real world. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (05/20)


9. Wis. school finds success with before- and after-school program

Math Education SmartBrief | May 19, 2015

Educators at a Wisconsin school are reporting positive results from a before- and after-school program focused on improving students' math and reading skills. Students in the Children and Family Enrichment program receive about 10 extra hours of instruction each week. Kenosha News (Wis.) (05/18)


10. Robots help expand students' math, coding skills

Math Education SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

Some second-graders at a California elementary school recently participated in a coding lesson involving robots, which stretched their math and problem-solving skills. The pilot program -- open to first- through fifth-graders at the school -- allowed students to control the robots through a software program. The Modesto Bee (Calif.) (05/19)




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