5 ways to create a strong math culture in your schools

Picture this: a student enters your classroom, a negative attitude at the ready. They are distant during class, uninterested in engaging with the material, and their beliefs confirmed every time they get a question wrong – “I can’t do math.” How can teachers combat this belief?

The culture that schools foster through the messages, beliefs, and behaviors that educators promote can help create a positive attitude among students that leads to better math achievement. Furthermore, research suggests that having a positive attitude toward math can boost math achievement.

In my 40-year tenure, where I concluded my career as a math specialist at New Caney Independent School District (ISD), I employed the following five strategies to help educators foster a strong math culture that leads to greater success for their students.…Read More

Free Math Program for iOS and Android

In response to the demand for learning at home, Bedtime Math has taken their research-proven after-school math club activities and presenting them for families to use for free.  Bedtime Math’s mission is simple: to make math a fun, natural part of kids’ everyday lives, just like the bedtime story. Bedtime Math is offing their Bedtime Math app for free, and it is available on iOS and Android. Every day, they deliver a fun new math problem for parents and kids to explore numbers in real life together. Plus, studies have shown it’s proven to improve kids’ math skills.

Bedtime Math is a national nonprofit that ignites kids’ curiosity and learning by unleashing the fun in math. It offers playful online math problems for parents to do with their kids every day, as well as lively hands-on games. Research has shown that both offerings reduce kids’ math anxiety, increase their love of math, and lay the groundwork for greater math achievement. For more information, visit www.bedtimemath.org.

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Researchers: Math needs a more visual approach

Stanford University researchers aim to dispel the belief that students should not use their fingers to learn mathematics

Taking a more visual approach to math instruction at the K-12 and higher-ed levels could dramatically change brain development as it relates to future math success, according to a new paper from Stanford researchers.

SEEING AS UNDERSTANDING: The Importance of Visual Mathematics for our Brain and Learning,” supports the use of visual mathematics and developing “finger discrimination” in students because it could result in higher math achievement.

According to co-authors Stanford University mathematics researcher Dr. Jo Boaler and brain researcher Dr. Lang Chen, the human brain can visualize a representation of the fingers during math problems. This provides an opportunity for further research and pedagogical development.…Read More

Math education: What’s the problem?

A new report claims that taking algebra too early is detrimental to students’ math education.

A new report from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) tackles the U.S. algebra and mathematics dilemma and is the latest to suggest that not all students should be pushed to take algebra in the eighth grade.

Solving America’s mathematics education problem,” by Duke professor Jacob L. Vigdor, examines cultural shifts that have resulted in new waves of interest in students’ mathematics performance.…Read More

Turning up the heat: Summer school programs use math video games for enrichment and to stem summer brain drain

Educators say game-based learning inspires math enthusiasm.
Educators say game-based learning inspires math enthusiasm.

Statistics show that over the summer break, most students lose an average of two to three months of math computational skills they learned during the previous school year.  This loss of learning can mean an academic setback for some children that can take weeks, and in some cases months, to remedy when the school bells ring in the fall.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has characterized the effects of “summer learning loss” as “devastating” and “well-documented.” And according to a 2009 report by McKinsey and Company, this backsliding represents a cost of as much as $670 billion to the nation’s economy.…Read More

Technology adds to students’ math comprehension

Research found that the use of interactive whiteboards, similar to the INTERWRITE Mobi, to teach math can increase student achievement.
Research suggests the use of tools that enhance visual learning, such as the INTERWRITE Mobi, can help students learn math.

Recent studies from two different continents point to the value of education technology in helping students grasp important yet abstract math concepts—and in both studies, animations that allow students to visualize these concepts were central to the results.

In one research project, the use of interactive whiteboards to teach math in several schools in Great Britain was found to have a positive effect on student learning, according to a three-year study conducted by researchers at Lancaster University.…Read More