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September 21, 2012
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Mathematics Education in Today's News

  Teaching & Learning 
  • Questions arise about teachers selling lesson plans
    Some teachers are increasing their earnings by selling their lesson plans online. There are several websites where teachers can make a profit, but there also are websites where educators can download lesson plans for free. The question of whether teachers should be able to sell their plans is garnering more attention as an increasing number of colleges make course content available online. (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How teachers can create a positive classroom environment
    Creating a positive, trusting classroom environment for students includes avoiding the participation-inhibiting word "wrong," middle-school math teacher and coach José Vilson writes. Among his other suggestions are to take any arguments with students outside the classroom and to give struggling students affirmation when they are on the right track.é Vilson's blog (9/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

"You can't learn math without making mistakes." What's Right About Wrong Answers gives you 22 activities that focus on important ideas in grades 4-5 math. Each includes a summary of the content and highlighted error, Common Core connections, redproducibles, required manipulatives, and other tools. Preview the entire book!
  • Mich. school uses Singapore math program in common core transition
    Bowen Elementary School in Michigan has embraced Math in Focus, a curriculum based on an approach developed by the Singapore Ministry of Education. School leaders say the curriculum promotes deeper understanding of math concepts. "This program was a great match for us because our mission is to get our kids ready for college and career, and with engineering, math, and the sciences you need to have a great foundation of mathematical skills to be successful," said Michael Pickard, Kentwood school district's executive director of elementary instruction and federal programs. (Michigan) (free registration) (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How will new math standards affect accelerated students?
    Hung-Hsi Wu, Professor of Mathematics Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, responds to a recent blog post about gifted elementary-school students in North Carolina no longer having access to middle-school math classes because of the implementation of Common Core State Standards. Wu suggests the change may be positive, as rushing students along can mean sacrificing the time needed to fully master the skills and knowledge associated with a particular grade-level math concept. The Huffington Post (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  • Businesses, learning center partner for teacher preparation in STEM
    Teachers in Illinois recently visited the Vulcan Materials Co. quarry as part of a professional-development program to see how engineering and math are used at local businesses. Research has shown that if teachers can make science, technology, engineering and math skills sound more relevant to the real world, students will be more drawn to the material. Chicago Sun-Times (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Minn. charter school helps students prepare for STEM careers
    The STEM Academy in Rochester, Minn., focuses specifically on educating high-school students who are minorities or immigrants and who are interested in careers such as nursing or engineering. Teachers at the academy work to ensure that any language barriers among immigrant students do not delay them from exploring their talents in math and science. Minnesota Public Radio (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Legislation 
  • Do teacher bonuses result in improved math scores?
    Researchers conducted a study in the struggling Chicago Heights, Ill., school district to examine whether teacher bonus pay affects student math performance. Some teachers were given no incentive, some were promised a bonus if students did well on math assessments, and other teachers were given $4,000 in advance and told if performance did not improve they would have to return the money. The University of Chicago researchers found that the teachers who were given the money in advance showed the greatest improvements in student performance and attributed it to a psychological concept known as loss aversion. National Public Radio (text and audio) (9/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NCTM News 
  • Free Problem Solvers Activity for the elementary grades
    NCTM's elementary school journal, Teaching Children Mathematics, is offering a free preview of this month's Problem Solvers Activity. The problem uses firefighting to promote problem solving and critical thinking. Teachers, plan to include this in your annual school observance of National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7 to 13. Download the article and activity sheet. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Resources for families to help their middle-school student
    Family members are crucial to student success. The more that adults become engaged in their children's education, the greater the chances that children will succeed. Figure This! provides interesting math challenges that middle school students can do at home with their families. Figure This! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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