April 15, 2013
NCTM SmartBrief
Mathematics Education in Today's News
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NCTM 2013 Annual Meeting and Exposition
Preshow Report
Educators will gather April 17 to 20 in Denver for the nation's largest annual gathering of mathematics educators to challenge and examine their own teaching practices, with reasoning and sense-making at the core of whatever they teach.

Join NCTM's 2013 Annual Meeting and Exposition to learn more about current topics in math education, such as the common core, response to intervention, assessment, research, reasoning and proof, technology and STEM. More than 700 sessions, workshops, and burst presentations await you in the Mile High City.

Don't miss featured presentations from actress and real-life neuroscientist Mayim Bialik or Vi Hart from Khan Academy and mathematics sculptor George Hart from Mathematics Sculptor.

Take home tools and strategies that you can apply immediately to help your students grow and succeed. Register by April 16 and save up to $40 off on-site rates!

In Part I of this two-part report, we offer resources to help educators gear up for the annual meeting in Denver and recap news about some of the latest research about math instruction. In Part II of this report, coming April 29, NCTM SmartBrief will look back at some of the highlights of the conference in Denver and offer a roundup of news about how technology is being used in mathematics education.

If you don't receive NCTM SmartBrief daily and find our conference preview useful, we urge you to sign up for our free, timely e-newsletter. NCTM SmartBrief delivers the stories making news in your profession directly to your inbox -- for free.
Gearing up for Denver 
Adaptive, Personalized Common Core Lesson Pathways
Personalized lesson pathways chart a clear, focused progression toward grade-level success. Built for the Common Core State Standards, Think Through Math provides lesson pathways that are carefully stepped-out and fully aligned. Because the system is adaptive, it will also provide precursor lessons to ensure success at grade-level. Learn more.
Latest Research & Trends 
  • Study: Math, science teachers need support for common core
    As states prepare to implement the Common Core State Standards in math and anticipate a new set of science standards, a recent survey of nearly 7,800 educators finds that math and science teachers will need additional support. A study by Horizon Research, and support from the National Science Foundation, found that less than a third of middle-school math teachers hold math or math-education degrees, while many teachers report feeling unprepared to create lessons that meet the needs of students at varied math and science achievement levels or for English-language learners. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teacher-led research drives use of classroom technology
    Teachers in a Minnesota school district recently released some findings from a six-month study into the effects of using the iPad and other technology as part of lessons. The goal of the teacher-led project was to establish the ways technology use could most benefit students. Among the findings are that iPads have helped students who struggle with math and also have benefited reading instruction, as seen when a first-grade teacher used the tablet to record students and allow them to hear themselves read aloud. Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.) (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Intervening early with math may pay off later in school
    New research suggests that children who have a strong number sense when they start school achieve greater math success years later in school. Kathy Mann Koepke of the National Institutes of Health, which is funding math-cognition research, suggests parents and teachers adopt a similar approach with math that they do with reading regarding early-intervention strategies. "We should be talking to our children about magnitude, numbers, distance, shapes as soon as they're born," Koepke said. U.S. News & World Report/The Associated Press (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Should teachers group students by ability?
    Grouping students by ability has been controversial for years, but the trend is increasing in education, according to research released March 18 by the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on American Education. Researchers found that the percentage of fourth-grade teachers grouping students by reading ability increased from 28% to 71% from 1998 to 2009, and the percentage of fourth-grade math teachers using grouping increased from 40% to 61% from 1996 to 2011. Critics say the practice, in which students are grouped by ability within a specific class, is a civil rights issue because it creates lower expectations, while supporters say it helps children improve their skills. USA Today (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: U.S. fourth-graders post international math gains
    Among the six countries singled out for their exceptional math scores in 1995 -- Singapore, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Belgium and the Czech Republic -- only Korea's fourth-graders posted growth in math scores at a greater percentage than U.S. fourth-graders, according to an analysis of the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. Two of the "A-plus" countries from 1995 dropped out of international testing after posting significant losses, and of the remaining nations, all but Japan made gains, the analysis shows. Education Week/Inside School Research blog (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Research: Student engagement key to higher achievement
    The strategies educators traditionally have used to increase student engagement -- raising standards and administering high-stakes tests -- have not addressed the root causes of student disengagement, according to a review of current research. Effective strategies to increase student engagement include connecting assignments to outcomes important to them and letting students have more choice in how to complete tasks. Research indicates increased engagement yields higher achievement. Forbes (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Gestures can help students grasp math lessons
    Students who learned a math concept from a video in which a teacher used hand gestures to emphasize certain aspects of the concept outperformed students who learned the same lesson from a video in which the teacher did not use gestures, according to a recent study. "Gesturing can be a very beneficial tool that is completely free and easily employed in classrooms," said Kimberly Fenn, study co-author and an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University. Education Week/Inside School Research blog (4/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Does homework improve student achievement?
    For as long as teachers have been assigning homework, students have been complaining about it. Some researchers have found a connection between higher achievement and the amount of homework that students complete, while others have found either no connection or evidence that students performed worse on exams after spending more time on homework. District Administration magazine (3/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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NCTM SmartBrief aggregates published news and editorial content from diverse sources. The content of NCTM SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the positions of NCTM or the views of its leadership, and the viewpoints expressed or implied should not be interpreted as official NCTM positions.
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