Elementary students learn to think, act like engineers | Does a second year of kindergarten help students? | Some Pa. schools add engineering to enhance math, science
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April 1, 2013
NCTM SmartBrief
Mathematics Education in Today's News

Teaching & LearningSponsored By
Should young students use calculators when learning math?
Educators in a Florida district are taking steps to help younger students develop a strong foundation in math, including offering activities parents can use at home to enhance math education. Math specialist Pat Willard warns against parents and educators using calculators in early grades as they can interfere with students' understanding of fundamental concepts. Highlands Today (Sebring, Fla.) (3/31)
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Elementary students learn to think, act like engineers
Elementary-school students have been learning how to think like engineers -- and solve real-world problems -- through the Engineering is Elementary program, which launched in 2004 by the Museum of Science in Boston. This year, 45,000 teachers nationwide will use the curricular units. "They are utilizing science concepts they're learning about, but also building those 21st-century skills: thinking critically, problem-solving, communication, collaboration," said Faye Harp, a curriculum specialist in the Lakota school district in Ohio. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (3/27)
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Is your math instruction truly differentiated?
ALEKS is the only math program that determines exactly what each student is ready to learn. This not only makes learning more effective, but enables true differentiation by meeting students at their level. Read about educators' successful implementations for a variety of learning needs—get your FREE eBook!
CurriculumSponsored By
Some Pa. schools add engineering to enhance math, science
Some Pennsylvania schools are using Project Lead the Way grants to offer more engineering classes and boost math and science learning. School officials say the program will help prepare students for engineering careers and help them understand math's role in the real world. The Express-Times (Easton-Bethlehem, Pa.) (3/31)
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Rubrics. Test questions. Tiering assessments. Grading effort. Redos. Report cards. In his thoroughly revised edition of Fair Isn't Always Equal, Rick Wormeli provides a thorough guide for teachers and administrators to tackle challenging and controversial assessment and grading practices in the differentiated classroom. Preview the entire book!
Commentary: Collaboration is key to effective common core transition
School districts need to work together to implement the Common Core State Standards, writes Emmett D. Carson, CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in Mountain View, Calif. Carson writes that the foundation has launched the Silicon Valley Common Core Initiative to urge the 54 school districts in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to collaborate on implementation to save money and achieve the best results. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (3/28)
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Minn. high-school students get career advice from alumni
A Minnesota high school recently hosted a career-day event featuring professionals who graduated from the school. Alumni discussed a range of careers, including engineering, excavation and heavy-machinery operations. Lake Country Echo (Pequot Lakes, Minn.) (3/26)
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Policy & Legislation
Miss. district eyes affordability of laptop rollout
A Mississippi school district is considering whether to provide every high-school student with an Apple laptop computer. The current proposal calls for leasing 2,600 laptops -- at a cost of $500,000 -- to replace traditional textbooks. "But we won't be buying textbooks, so a lot of our budget dollars would be diverted," said superintendent Ben Burnett. "We have to see what the (state) legislature appropriates in the budget to see if we can afford it." The Hattiesburg American (Miss.) (3/26)
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The distributive property in grade 3?
Are third graders ready to connect procedures to concepts of area conservation, distribution and geometric interpretation? Find out in this month's free preview article of Teaching Children Mathematics.
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Start student teaching successfully
Realize that you are not alone. Keep in close contact with your classmates who are also student teaching. Share stories about what is working well and what may be frustrating you. By exchanging your successes, you will be adding to your own "bank" of good ideas. By listening to others' frustrations, you will gain the wisdom on how to avoid creating such situations in your own classrooms. Read more.
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Dreams have only one owner at a time. That's why dreamers are lonely."
-- Erma Bombeck,
American humorist
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