Professional Learning for Busy Educators
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# Professional Learning for Busy Educators

Professional learning in a glance (or two)!
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## Comprehending Math – Medium

We have been teaching students how to become better readers and writers for years. With mentor texts, we teach our students about the different genres, text structures, and features that exist within books. Students learn how to identify characters and plots, retell events, or set up a table of contents to reflect the main idea and details of a new writing piece.

The good news is, we can use these same instructional choices during our math instruction. Just as books have a variety of text structures (narrative, informational, biographical) and features (characters, events, language, labels) so too, do math word problems. When we show students how to identify these structures and features within math problems, we increase their ability to comprehend them, solve them, and eventually become the authors of their own math stories. Research shows that readers who can identify the structure of a text are better able to locate the information they need for successful comprehension (Williams, J.P., 2003). This is exactly the result we are looking for when students are solving word problems. We want students to identify the text structure of a math problem, recognize which part is missing, and use questions and known relationships to solve for the missing value.
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## Math Story Problems as a Learning Tool in Trigonometry Class - Edutopia

I had always hated math. Now I suddenly found myself teaching trigonometry. I was an English teacher in Chicago Public Schools with certification in special education, and when my school was facing a shortage of certified special education teachers, I was pulled in mid-year to co-teach a junior-level trigonometry class with the math teacher.

My students struggled with the calculations, thinking they just weren’t good at math. Like me, they hated it. What was the point in working and reworking these calculations? What were we trying to figure out anyway? And I originally agreed with them.

Yet trig slowly became my favorite class of the day. After spending years teaching English and reading, I was being challenged to move beyond what I had always been doing. When you’re new to something, you have a fresh perspective. You’re willing to take risks. You’re willing to try anything because you don’t know how something should be done.

I worked with my co-teacher to create a series of supplementary lessons through a different lens to let students experience personal meaning and creativity in their math.
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## Seeing Struggling Math Learners as 'Sense Makers,' Not 'Mistake Makers' | MindShift | KQED News

One teacher is reframing how math is taught by focusing more on how students are thinking instead right or wrong answers.
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## For the sake of kids, embrace math - The Conversation

Mathematics is causing headaches in schools across Canada, Australia and many other parts of the world. Teachers in both Canada and Australia feel neither competent nor confident in math and, frankly, they are the first to admit it.

As researchers, educators and authors who have advised globally about best practices for improving learning and achievement, we have had opportunities to notice common trends and obstacles, and notable gains, in math education.

Up close, we’ve heard from teachers in Ontario, Canada, and in Australia and we’ve considered how people can best collaborate to protect and grow students’ love of learning.

We’ve seen that some math improvement efforts get bogged down by fears of the unknown. Others get an initial spark but soon lose energy.

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## Math Teachers Should Encourage Their Students to Count Using Their Fingers in Class - The Atlantic

A few weeks ago I (Jo Boaler) was working in my Stanford office when the silence of the room was interrupted by a phone call. A mother called me to report that her 5-year-old daughter had come home from school crying because her teacher had not allowed her to count on her fingers. This is not an isolated event—schools across the country regularly ban finger use in classrooms or communicate to students that they are babyish. This is despite a compelling and rather surprising branch of neuroscience that shows the importance of an area of our brain that “sees” fingers, well beyond the time and age that people use their fingers to count.
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## Recognizing and Alleviating Math Anxiety - Edutopia

Math anxiety is much more than a dislike for the subject—it’s a real problem for students, one that blocks the brain’s working memory and starts a self-perpetuating cycle of math avoidance, low achievement, and fear. This form of anxiety manifests as early as kindergarten, and nearly half of elementary school children experience it.
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## Want to Help With Math Homework? Ask These Questions - Denis Sheeran @MathDenisNJ

When it comes to math homework, parents often feel that they HAVE TO HELP their kids get everything right. Many parents take on the role of Untrained Math Teacher at home as well and can often undercut well planned lessons and units. This can often cause more damage, frustration and distress than we want. A major message of my book, Hacking Mathematics: 10 Problems That Need Solving, is that questioning is at the heart of learning mathematics, not answering. So here’s an infographic for you to share with parents who want to help their kids that will teach them how to promote questioning and will keep the learning in the hands of their kids and the teaching in the hands of their teachers.
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## 5 Tips for Improving Students’ Success in Math - Edutopia

What does it take to improve student success and interest in math? The Philadelphia-based Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) asked more than 400 U.S. high school math teachers for their advice related to teaching and learning mathematics.

“The good news is that students can have success in math class with the right effort, attitude, and behavior, regardless of a natural affinity or being ‘good at math,’” said Michelle Montgomery, project director of the MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge at SIAM. “Using quantitative skills to solve real, open-ended problems by employing the mathematical modeling process is a great way to get started.”
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## Stanford research shows that students do better on tests when elementary school teachers face down their own math demons — Quartz

“The idea that some of us are ‘math people’ and some are not is a myth that pervades Western society,” Jo Boaler, a professor of math education at Stanford University, writes in a revealing new study. “This damaging idea has been challenged in recent years by neuroscience showing that mathematics is a subject, like all others, that is learned through hard work and practice.”

Boaler explains that many adults have an apprehensive relationship with math—which winds up doing a disservice to future generations. Parents and teachers with anxiety about algebra and equations transmit those feelings to their children and students, who then perform worse on math. Her new study shows what happens when teachers finally face their fears.

The study, published in Education Sciences, shows that a three-year course to help teachers challenge the “math person” myth, while teaching them about brain science and showing them effective math teaching methods, results in gains for students—with the greatest gains for girls and English language learners.
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## Eight things to know about Detroit’s big math and reading curriculum shift

The countdown is on: In five months, elementary and middle school teachers in the Detroit district will be teaching from all-new curriculum.

District leaders are scrambling to train teachers and prepare families for the switch to new reading and math teaching materials for grades K-5 in reading and K-8 in math. It’s a massive undertaking, and the first time in years Detroit is changing curriculum at this scale.
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## How Reading Novels in Math Class Can Strengthen Student Engagement | MindShift | KQED News

Every January, Nashville teacher Joel Bezaire reads The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time aloud to his students. Sounds pretty standard, right? It would be — for an English class. But Bezaire teaches math. The novel is part of a unit on number sense.

While it’s easy to envision using math picture books in elementary school classrooms, literature for older grades poses a bigger challenge. Can reading fit into the curriculum as the books get longer and the math gets more complex?

Bezaire thinks it can, and so does another teacher, Sam Shah, of Brooklyn. The two occupy opposite ends of the secondary math spectrum — seventh-grade pre-algebra and 12th-grade calculus, respectively — and both have found ways to strengthen student engagement through reading.
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## Pre-K, Plus a Little Extra, Can Help Close Math Gaps for Children in Poverty - Inside School Research - Education Week

The benefits of even high-quality preschool programs tend to fade over time, but extracurricular programs in early grades may help boost the good effects of early education after students start school, according to a new longitudinal study by the research firm MDRC.

Low-income students who participated in both a math-focused preschool curriculum and extracurricular math clubs during their first year of school closed nearly 30 percent of the math achievement gap between themselves and their wealthier peers by the end of kindergarten, the study showed.
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## MathsBot.com - Tools for Maths Teachers

Interactive tools and activites to aid the teaching of mathematics. Hundreds of randomly generated questions and answers.
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## How to Make Math More Emotionally Engaging For Students | MindShift | KQED News

Satisfaction and engagement may not be the most common feelings among students studying introductory calculus. According to Jo Boaler, a professor of math education at Stanford, roughly 50 percent of the population feels anxious about math. That emotional discomfort often begins in elementary school, lingering over students’ later encounters with algebra and geometry, and tainting the subject with apprehension—or outright loathing.

Professor Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, associate professor of education, psychology, and neuroscience at the University of Southern California has explored how emotions are tied to learning. “Emotions are a piece of thinking,” she told me; “we think of anything because our emotions push us that way.” Even subjects widely considered to be outside the realm of emotion, like math, evoke powerful feelings among those studying it, which can then propel or thwart further learning.
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## Ontario Math Links for Week Ending Dec. 14th, 2018 via @DavidPetro314

There are many resources on the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC). Not only are there years of past University o

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
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## How Coding Supports the Mathematical Practices - MIND Research

Many educators across the world will be inspired to engage their students in a coding lesson this week, as December 3-9 is Code.org’s annual Hour of Code event. Coding is not only great as an elective or extra activity, it can also provide an avenue to apply and deeply engage in mathematical concepts. Perhaps we should consider including coding as part of our mathematics explorations more often!

For instance, our board member, Mike Lefkowitz wrote about how mathematics provides the foundation for the other STEM subjects, including science, technology and engineering. Similarly, the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Matt Larson, made a compelling argument that math education is STEM education. So maybe it makes sense to build these skills in conjunction with one another, and support students in identifying those connections.

Other articles have also explored upon how coding can help students make sense of the eight mathematical practices, and here I endeavor to showcase more examples and anecdotes from colleagues working in technology.
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## Nine Colors - YouCubed

"Are you a fan of Rubik’s Cube? Do you like to build something to solve a problem? Here is one of our favorite puzzles!"

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## Let's teach students why math matters in the real world

"When will I ever use this?" It's a question math and science teachers hear all the time from their high school students.

Teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills is more important than ever, but it's often difficult for students to understand the practical applications of such fundamental learning and how it will help them down the road.

Classroom activities should be relevant, meaningful and connected to students' prior knowledge and experiences. Learning must be based on lived experiences within both formal and informal educational settings.

Increasingly, teacher educators are realizing that we must break away from traditional silos of courses, disciplines and formal schooling. Educators must lead by example and provide students with opportunities to explore interdisciplinary approaches to learning.
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## K-12 Math Tasks for Schools from Woot Math - Monica Burns @ClassTechTips

This year I connected with the passionate team behind Woot Math. If you are looking for a tool to energize your math instruction this year, Woot Math has you covered! From engaging activities to embedded formative assessment, this platform is perfect for K-12 students. It’s free for teachers, so if you can’t wait to jump in, scroll to the bottom of this post to set up an account.
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## Opinion | Make Your Daughter Practice Math. She’ll Thank You Later. - The New York Times

For parents who want to encourage their daughters in STEM subjects, it’s crucial to remember this: Math is the sine qua non.

You and your daughter can have fun throwing eggs off a building and making papier-mâché volcanoes, but the only way to create a full set of options for her in STEM is to ensure she has a solid foundation in math. Math is the language of science, engineering and technology. And like any language, it is best acquired through lengthy, in-depth practice.

But for girls, this can be trickier than it looks. This is because many girls can have a special advantage over boys — an advantage that can steer them away from this all-important building block.
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## Mind-Body Math: Manipulatives in the Digital Age [Infographic]

The mind-body connection is widely accepted in health and wellness, inspiring people to practice yoga or meditation, and for competitive athletes to seek sports psychologists.  But what role does the mind-body connection play in the math classroom?

Recently, a MIND Research Institute psychologist, mathematician and education researcher teamed up to explore decades of research into how our bodies can be involved in learning, and the ways that technology makes it easier than ever to put these powers to use in the classroom. This infographic presents highlights of what they found.
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## How Adding Math to a Child’s Home Routine Can Advance Achievement | MindShift | KQED News

Parents who are uneasy about their own math skills often worry about how best to teach the subject to their kids.

Well ... there's an app for that. Tons of them, in fact. And a study published today in the journal Science suggests that at least one of them works pretty well for elementary school children and math-anxious parents.
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## How ‘chatty maths’ boosted my students’ engagement and confidence in mathematics  | Tes

Arrive at the start of a maths lesson at my school and you are likely to come across groups of pupils chatting about maths. Not necessarily, or even usually, about number or calculation, but rather about the maths of everyday life.

You could catch pupils talking about the maths in a packet of biscuits, a glass of water, a map, or a photograph, to name just a few examples. The more cross-curricular-minded teachers may even have a topic focus, such as a Viking longboat or Greek pot for their maths chat.

In fact, the focus could be anything at all, as long as pupils are engaging in maths-related discussions with each other.

These "chatty maths" sessions, as we have named them, are a key feature of our approach to maths teaching and learning and the impact has been huge.
Ben Nell's curator insight,
Very Interesting. In a way this article has confirmed in my mind how important it is for students to have a passion for maths to succeed in the subject. The article also placed huge emphasis in my brain to ensure healthy conversation is present within the classroom. I as a teacher need to constantly be aware of creating class discussions so that students are able to explore different issues in a variety of contexts, as well as understand the perspectives of one another in a mathematical context.
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## What Would Happen If Students Assigned Their Own Math Homework?- Edutopia

Instead of a set of 20 questions, use this framework to have your students create their own homework based on their needs and interests.
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## Every Child Ready for Math | Global Family Research Project

One of the most exciting trends in public libraries is how families and children are engaging together in playful early learning. Much of this has been influenced by Every Child Ready to Read, a program that guides families in children’s early literacy by talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. [1] There is less attention paid, however, to how libraries and families can support early math. This is unfortunate, given that early math skills are highly predictive of later academic success, even more so than reading abilities or socio-emotional development.[2] Like literacy, math is a tool, and one that can be developed and honed early in life.

Building on the success of Every Child Ready to Read, below we offer six ideas for how librarians and families can talk, sing, read, write, and play with math. Libraries are in a perfect position to promote family math, as they increasingly offer opportunities for families to tinker with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); offer a wide range of digital media resources—many with a math focus; and are trusted places where families of young children congregate for story times and other activities.[3]
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