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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

G3 Camp Grandparents, Grandkids, Grand Valley!

G3 Camp
Grandparents, Grandkids, Grand Valley!
June 24 - 26, 2014

Grandparents and their grandchildren will be sharing a college experience by attending G3 — Grandparents, Grandkids, Grand Valley — a summer camp at Grand Valley State University (GVSU)  June 24-26, 2014. Families will spend three days and two nights on campus, sleeping in the living center apartments and eating in the common dining halls along with college students and others on campus.

During the three day educational camp, children ages 8-12 and their grandparents will attend hands-on learning activities in areas like art, history, science, mathematics, engineering, technology, and law enforcement, to name a few. Class sessions will be taught by Grand Valley faculty and held during the day in the campus academic buildings. In the evening, families can choose from a variety of activities including swimming, playing volleyball, using the climbing wall, and playing games. 

G3 is sponsored by GVSU’s Regional Math and Science Center and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information, call the Regional Math and Science Center at (616) 331-2267.  G3 Camp makes a WONDERFUL Christmas present!  Printable gift certificates are available online as well.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What is important in early childhood mathematics education programs?

Mathematics in Early Childhood Learning
A Position of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

NCTM Position
Young learners’ future understanding of mathematics requires an early foundation based on a high-quality, challenging, and accessible mathematics education. Young children in every setting should experience mathematics through effective, research-based curricula and teaching practices. Such practices in turn require that teachers have the support of policies, organizational structures, and resources that enable them to succeed in this challenging and important work.

Read the full position paper for more information.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Register for Pilot of Michigan's Interim Assessments

Schools are invited to register to participate in the Spring 2014 Interim Assessment Pilot. Districts may have several schools participate but each school must register with a separate application. 

The ELA and mathematics interim assessments for grades K, 1, and 2 are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The science and social studies interim assessments are aligned to Michigan’s current Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs) and High School Content Expectations (HSCEs).

Participation in this State of Michigan authorized pilot test opportunity counts toward satisfying district participation requirement #4 of the 22i Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant (TRIG).

The assessments available in this pilot include:
English Language Arts - Grades K, 1, and 2
Mathematics - Grades K, 1, and 2
Science - Grades 3-7, Earth Science, HS Biology, HS Chemistry, and HS Physics
Social Studies - Grades 3-8, HS US History & Geography, HS World History & Geography, HS Civics, and HS Economics

Registration deadline: 1/31/2014
Test window: 3/24/2014 through 5/23/2014

Read more and register

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Surprising research findings

The most recent issues of The Progress of Education Reform  from ECS presents us with some surprising research findings concerning mathematics education.

Surprise 1: There is predictive power in early mathematics
Mathematical thinking is cognitively foundational, and children’s early knowledge of math strongly predicts their later success in math. More surprising is that preschool mathematics knowledge predicts achievement even into high school. Most surprising is that it also predicts later reading achievement even better than early reading skills. In fact, research shows that doing more mathematics increases oral language abilities, even when measured during the following school year. These include vocabulary, inference, independence, and grammatical complexity. Given the importance of mathematics to academic success in all subjects, all children need a robust knowledge of mathematics in their earliest years.

Surprise 2: Given opportunities to learn, young children possess an informal knowledge of mathematics that is amazingly broad, complex, and sophisticated

Surprise 3: Teachers vastly underestimate what their children know and can learn

Surprise 4: All students need a math intervention

Surprise 5: We know a lot

Read more about the 5 Surprises and corresponding policy implications and recommendations.

Ban "outlaw" words

Do you use any of the following words or phrases with your students?
"Goes into"

In Christine Moynihan's 2013 Fall NCSM Newsletter article "Leadership Tips", she focuses on how “Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
Too many words and phrases used in mathematics classrooms promote misconceptions and are barriers to students attaining conceptual understanding. Identifying and eradicating them from use can provide stronger pathways to understanding. Just a few of the offenders include:
  • Borrow—When one borrows something, there is an expectation it will be returned; that does not happen when we “borrow” a ten.
  • Carry—There is no “carrying” going on in the action of regrouping.
  • Add a 0—How many of us were taught that you just add a 0 to the number when you multiply by 10? This flies in the face of 0 being the additive identity—any number with 0 added to it is the same number!
  • Multiplying by 10 (or 10^1) is increasing the value by one power of 10.
  •  “Guzinta”—You know: 6 “goes into” 24 … instead of, how many 6s are there in 24, or how many are in each of the 6 groups if there are 24?
  • Reduce—When something is reduced, it becomes smaller; 2/3 is not smaller than 4/6—it is just in simpler form.
  • Altogether, etc.—This and a few others are taught as “key words”—altogether means that the problem should be solved by adding. Providing counterexamples allows students to see that they must analyze a problem carefully: There are 22 students altogether in Mrs. Sullivan’s class. Twelve are girls, how many are boys?
  •  Digit, number, numeral—These are often used interchangeably, yet have different meanings.
  • Less or fewer—These are also often used interchangeably and should not be; less refers to continuous variables, while fewer indicates things that are discrete.
  • Tricks and magic—There are NO tricks nor magic in mathematics! There is a valid reason for everything.
  • Yours is not to reason why—just invert and multiply. Of course, we want our students to reason.
Please check out the rest of the article for more ways to support students learning in mathematics with diligence.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Nix the Tricks

Nix The Tricks is simultaneously:
  • a free eBook cataloging many of the rhymes, shortcuts, and mnemonics teachers use (I'm looking at you, FOIL) that rob students of a conceptual understanding of mathematics.
  • a labor of love from editor Tina Cardone.
  • a great example of the deep bench of talent we have in Math Twitter Blogosphere.
It was all sourced from math teachers online. It's all free to you.
There's something for all of us in there from elementary mathematics through Algebra.

reposted from Dan Meyer's dy/dan: less helpful mathematics blog.
Check it out and subscribe if you haven't already.