"Whenever I meet anyone who wants to talk about education, I immediately ask them to tell me the quadratic equation. Almost no one ever can. (Even the former chairman of the College Board doesn’t know it). Yet, we all seem to believe that everyone must learn algebra.
Why this religious zeal over algebra? It helps students learn how to think, people claim. Really? Are mathematicians the best thinkers you know? I know plenty of them who can’t handle their own lives very well. Reasoning mathematically is a nice skill but one that is not relevant to most of life. We reason about many things: parenting, marriage, careers, finances, business, politics. Do we learn how to reason about these things by learning algebra? The idea is absurd."
"PhET provides fun, interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena for free.
To help students visually comprehend concepts, PhET simulations animate what is invisible to the eye through the use of graphics and intuitive controls such as click-and-drag manipulation, sliders and radio buttons. In order to further encourage quantitative exploration, the simulations also offer measurement instruments including rulers, stop-watches, voltmeters and thermometers. As the user manipulates these interactive tools, responses are immediately animated thus effectively illustrating cause-and-effect relationships as well as multiple linked representations."
Why UDL? PhET simulations offers multiple means of representation and action and multiple means of engagement. There is also a translation tool to translate any of these simulations in a multitude of languages.
"When we tell students to study for the exam or, more to the point, to study so that they can do well on the exam, we powerfully reinforce that way of thinking. While faculty consistently complain about instrumentalism, our behavior and the entire system encourages and facilitates it.
On the one hand, we tell students to value learning for learning's sake; on the other, we tell students they'd better know this or that, or they'd better take notes, or they'd better read the book, because it will be on the next exam; if they don't do these things, they will pay a price in academic failure. This communicates to students that the process of intellectual inquiry, academic exploration, and acquiring knowledge is a purely instrumental activity—designed to ensure success on the next assessment.
Given all this, it is hardly surprising that students constantly ask us if this or that will be on the exam, or whether they really need to know this reading for the next test, or—the single most pressing question at every first class meeting of the term—"is the final cumulative"?
This dysfunctional system reaches its zenith with the cumulative "final" exam. We even go so far as to commemorate this sacred academic ritual by setting aside a specially designated "exam week" at the end of each term. This collective exercise in sadism encourages students to cram everything that they think they need to "know" (temporarily for the exam) into their brains, deprive themselves of sleep and leisure activities, complete (or more likely finally start) term papers, and memorize mounds of information. While this traditional exercise might prepare students for the inevitable bouts of unpleasantness they will face as working adults, its value as a learning process is dubious."
Wolfram Alpha is one of the best kept secrets in education! It is a new search engine that can solve any type of mathematical equation. This is a essential tool for all learners to help them solve and check their work. Results of these problems are shown in different ways so that every learner can understand.
Students could use Wolfram site to gain a better understanding of various math concepts and supports the notion of multiple means of representation.
In her work with UCLA's Graduate School of Education, Rebecca Alber assists teachers and schools in meeting students' academic needs through best practices. Alber also instructs online teacher-education courses for Stanford University.
"Twenty Tips for Creating a Safe Learning Environment
I visit a lot of classrooms. And I'm always fascinated by the variety of ways teachers launch the new school year and also with how they "run their rooms" on a daily basis. From these visits and my own experiences as an instructor, I'd like to offer my top 20 suggestions for keeping your classroom a safe, open, and inviting place to learn."
This site is an amazing geometry playground for maths students and teachers. Select points on your screen and connect them up to provide the properties you what. This resource uses HTML5 and works wonderfully across a range of computers, browsers and tablets.
"When American education is in crisis, policy makers and thought leaders roll out the STEM argument, that the science, technology, engineering and math curriculum needs to be emphasized as the cornerstone of American competitiveness in a world where Chinese students do lightening drills on the periodic table of the elements at age 4 (lol).
There is certainly no question that STEM education and STEM skills are a vital part of this country’s edge, but many educators would argue that STEM is missing a key set of creativity-related components that are equally critical to fostering a competitive and innovative workforce, and those skills are summarized under the letter “A” for Arts.
Two years ago, the Conference Board and Americans for the Arts, in association with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), conducted a survey of executives and school superintendents. The study, called Ready to Innovate, demonstrated that more and more companies are looking for skill sets in their new employees that are much more arts/creativity-related than science/math-related. Companies want workers who can brainstorm, problem-solve, collaborate creatively and contribute/communicate new ideas.
And, interestingly, the study shows that managers are finding a dearth of creative workers trained in these “A” skills. So why is this not part of the overall national debate?
STEM should be amended to STEAM, an idea that has been kicking around with many people in the creative industries for a few years now, and became a key discussion point of the Americans for the Arts 2007 National Policy Roundtable where the Ready to Innovate study was first unveiled."
★ BACK-TO-SCHOOL SPECIAL: Math Dictionary for Kids is FREE for three days only! Offer ends August 22nd. ★
"With more than 100,000 copies in print, the "Math Dictionary for Kids" is the #1 homework helper for kids. Now this best-selling book comes to the iPad with powerful tools to help any student achieve success in math! Perfect for kids."
"Real World Math is a site with lessons and ideas for using Google Earth in the math classroom. There are lesson ideas, examples, and downloads for math that are based on active learning and project based learning, including analysis and creativity.
The Lessons page has lessons grouped into five categories: Concept Lessons, Project-Based Learning, Exploratory, Measurement and Space. There is a Community page for teachers to collaborate and share lesson ideas. There is also a Resource page with links to other sites, blogs, or materials that users of Real World Math should find helpful. This will include links to tutorials on Google Earth and SketchUp.
This is a fun and interesting way to teach, and learn, math."
Last year, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt released an iPad app for eighth-grade algebra, and conducted a study with 1,000 California students examining how those using the app perform compared to those who don’t. That study should be released next month, but early signs are pointing to favorable results.
Until that bigger study is released, another smaller one released today might provide some fodder for iPad enthusiasts. The app Motion Math, which teaches players about fractions, commissioned an independent study with 122 fifth-graders and came up with some encouraging results. According to the report, released by GameDesk, showed that fifth graders’ fractions test scores improved an average of over 15% after playing Motion Math for 20 minutes daily over a five-day period, a significant increase compared to a control group.
Nearly all jurisdictions in the Northeast and Islands Region have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Yet, as states and districts seek to implement the CCSS, policymakers and practitioners need to understand the foundational research and initiatives behind the standards, as well as learn how to build students’ knowledge so they will graduate high school able to succeed in college and in workforce training programs.
In this webinar, Dr. Francis “Skip” Fennell, a mathematics education expert and member of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, will bridge research to practice as it relates to implementation of the CCSS initiative in the area of mathematics. He will clarify links between the CCSS and the National Mathematics Advisory Panel Report recommendations and provide an overview of the research foundations and policy considerations for educational leaders and practitioners to understand and implement the CCSS. He will discuss the new expectations for mathematical competency embedded in the CCSS and share practical strategies for building students’ foundational mathematics knowledge, particularly as they move through elementary and middle-school grades. Webinar participants will be able to submit questions to Dr. Fennell through an online chat room.
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