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November 21, 2012
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Mathematics Education in Today's News

  Teaching & Learning 
  • Active learning key to Maine math class success
    Eighth-graders at a middle school in Maine are not learning math from a textbook this year. Instead, they are using a computer-based platform designed by in-house math teacher Alex Briasco-Brin. "It's set up for them to discover stuff instead of being told and monkey-see, monkey-do," he said. "This forces them to learn it themselves." (Maine) (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pa. district offers versatility with self-blend learning model
    Quakertown Community School District in Bucks County, Pa., offers a unique approach to education, in which students can take courses online or in person -- or a combination of the two. Tom Murray, director of technology and cybereducation for the district, writes in this blog post about the obstacles the district faced in implementing the model, which he says offers "complete versatility" for students that is needed in today's schools. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

Can a 15-minute daily routine change your students' view of math? In Making Number Talks Matter Cathy Humphreys and Ruth Parker help teachers in grades 4-10 build students' confidence in their reasoning as they talk through problems in arithmetic operations, fractions, decimals, and more. Read Chapter 1 online!
  • Neb. math scores rise after teachers focus on problem areas
    Nebraska teachers are seeing the results of their hard work as recent statewide standardized test scores revealed improvements in math and reading. "I think what we've witnessed across the state was teachers got together, reordered their curriculum, improved instruction in areas where they found students to be lacking, and stepped it up a notch," Nebraska Education Commissioner Roger Breed said. "I think we'll continue to see that type of improvement in math very clearly over the next few years." The Republic (Columbus, Ind.) (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Are common core math standards too demanding?
    The Common Core State Standards in math focus on students developing a deeper understanding of math concepts and learning alternative strategies to problem-solving. However, this shift raises questions about whether elementary-school students in particular are being asked to grasp too much math theory at the expense of acquiring basic problem-solving skills. Teacher and writer Barry Garelick writes in this article that he is hopeful teachers will be able to adjust the standards to fit the abilities of students as the common core becomes the established curriculum at schools across the country. The Atlantic online (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teachers apply STEM training to practical, real-world lessons
    Some teachers in the Casa Grande Elementary School District in Arizona are working together as part of the county's Next Generation STEM Leaders program to spark student interest in science, technology, engineering and math. "Rather than teaching a concept in a vacuum, I now create authentic, problem-based lessons where the students apply the knowledge rather than just memorize it," said Geneva Baker, chairwoman of the science department at Casa Grande Middle School. "Science becomes the problem-generating component and language arts, math and engineering are the tools with which to solve the problem." Casa Grande Valley Newspapers (Ariz.) (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Policy & Legislation 
  • Idaho board rethinks online course rule
    The Idaho State Board of Education has repealed a law that would have required students to take at least two online courses to graduate from high school, following the rejection of a ballot referendum that would have established the mandate. In reversing the law, officials say they believe that online learning is important, but a different process may be necessary to put a requirement in place. The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) (free content) (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NCTM News 
  • Be an advocate
    Now that the election is over, let your voice be heard. Encourage your legislators to support mathematics education. Policymakers on the local, state and federal level determine government funding for mathematics education and teachers' professional development. Communication -- calling, writing or e-mailing your representatives or forming an advocacy group to do so -- ensures that mathematics education needs remain a funding priority. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Thursday and Friday
    In observance of Thanksgiving in the U.S., SmartBrief will not be published Thursday and Friday. Publication will resume Monday. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'thank you,' that would suffice."
--Meister Eckhart,
German theologian and philosopher

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