5 ways to use inquiry-based learning to make math more relevant

Key points:

One of the joys of being an educator is embracing all the differences every student brings to the classroom, while teaching them to celebrate those unique traits in themselves and each other. Yet, schools have only recently started using math instruction incorporating students’ perspectives and experiences, through approaches like inquiry-based problem-solving.

We say “recently” because the traditional approach to math instruction — where teachers demonstrate the procedures to solve problems while students memorize and practice them — goes back decades. It is how most of the educators teaching math today remember learning math themselves. That’s not to say we should abandon the procedural aspects of math; quite the opposite. Research indicates that procedural and conceptual knowledge develop iteratively. They build upon each other: Increases in one type of knowledge lead to increases in the other.…Read More

Students are still behind in math–what needs to change?

As students return to class this fall, K–12 teachers and administrators face many challenges—and math instruction is high on the list.

Although state assessment data from the 2021–2022 school year suggest that students have begun to close pandemic-related learning gaps, the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results reveal that students’ math scores dropped seven points—the first-ever score drop for math in the assessment’s fifty-year history.

Educators now face the daunting task of making up for lost instructional time from the COVID-19 pandemic, while at the same time, addressing drops in math achievement and teaching grade-level content. Where do educators start?…Read More

4 ways to bring creativity to math instruction

Here’s a question for you: “What do you think is the most unpopular subject in school?” If you thought the safe answer was math, then you’d be right. According to numerous surveys, mathematics is easily one of the most disliked subjects in school, regularly scoring in the bottom three. I can certainly understand the sentiment. As a student, I didn’t like math much either.

Now, as an educator, I can see the inherent difficulties to teaching math to K-12 students. Kids often feel that math is both pointless and boring. It usually doesn’t play a big role in their daily life and lacks the flare of other disciplines. This can dampen their engagement and cause them to miss crucial knowledge that will ultimately help them in their learning journey.

This begs the question: How do we as teachers infuse curiosity and creativity into our math lessons?    …Read More

IXL, Wyzant and Miami-Dade County Public Schools Partner to Provide Personalized Math Instruction

SAN MATEO, Calif.  — December  7, 2021 — IXL Learning, developer of personalized learning products used by more than 12 million students, announced an agreement with Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) to supply two of its award-winning platforms to the district’s 334,000 students and 17,500 teachers. More than 500 schools will use IXL to supplement math instruction and approximately 20,000 students can access one-on-one virtual tutoring opportunities through Wyzant, the nation’s largest tutoring network. 

Miami-Dade County Public Schools is the largest K-12 school system in Florida and the Southeastern United States, and the 4th-largest district in the country. It strives to provide a diverse community with learning experiences that improve academic achievement, emphasize social and emotional well-being, and enable all students to reach their full potential. To meet its goals, M-DCPS sought rigorous resources that enable educators to recover unfinished learning, track student progress and boost achievement in math. The district also needed tutoring support to help students hone math skills outside of school hours when parents or teachers aren’t available to help.

After a thorough search, M-DCPS realized that a large number of its educators were already successfully using IXL’s powerful platform and that its robust math curriculum was perfect for augmenting daily instruction. In addition, the district deeply appreciated that IXL Learning’s tutoring service, Wyzant, could seamlessly connect its students with experienced instructors to grow their math skills away from the classroom.  …Read More

New ST Math Assignments Feature Makes a Difference While Distance Learning

MIND Research Institute, an award-winning neuroscience and education organization, has added an Assignments feature to its flagship ST Math solution, allowing teachers to differentiate instruction while keeping an entire class learning the same core concepts.

“Together, students and teachers are an amazing team,” said Brett Woudenberg, MIND Research Institute’s CEO. “When we empower-

them each to set their own meaningful goals, then guide and support those goals, each student’s learning path becomes truly personalized and optimized. We’re excited to see how teachers and students will use Assignments to make math instruction more effective and more fun – whether distance learning from home, in the classroom, or in a hybrid model.”…Read More

ST Math and Los Angeles USD Partner to Bring Math Program District-Wide

MIND Research Institute has announced a partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District to bring ST Math®, MIND’s patented approach to math instruction, to the largest school district in California, and second-largest school district in the nation. The program will impact over 240,000 students and 18,000 teachers across 600 schools.

MIND’s partnership with LAUSD began over 20 years ago when 95th Elementary School implemented ST Math. In 1999, ST Math’s first efficacy studies with that school were published. From there, ST Math expanded to other schools in the district which began to show improvements on California Standards Tests. Through the years, math scores continued to grow and philanthropic partners took notice. More than 30 foundations and companies have provided financial support to bring ST Math to LAUSD students and educators over the history of this partnership.

“MIND Research Institute has truly grown up with LAUSD,” said Brett Woudenberg, CEO of MIND. “LAUSD has partnered with MIND for the twenty-two years that this organization has existed. That is why it is such an honor to see this partnership expand district-wide. This milestone speaks to the exemplary work LAUSD has done in mathematically preparing their students. I want to thank all of the educators, administrators, and donors who have contributed to this great partnership.”…Read More

ST Math and FCPS Partner to Bring Meaningful Math Learning to Va Students

MIND Research Institute (MIND) has announced a partnership with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) to bring ST Math®, MIND’s patented approach to math instruction, to the largest public school system in Virginia, as well as the largest public school system in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The partnership will keep meaningful math learning happening for tens of thousands of students across 227 elementary campuses.

“When we implemented ST Math, we saw how the program’s visual approach made a difference for our students and educators,” said Dr. Amy Hunter, K-12 Mathematics Coordinator at FCPS. “We are grateful for the support from Arconic Foundation and for our continued partnership with MIND.”

In the 2019-20 school year, Arconic Foundation provided a $350,000 grant that enabled seven Fairfax schools to implement ST Math for three years. Arconic Foundation supports education programs that provide skill-building learning experiences. Due to the success of the implementation, Fairfax decided to bring ST Math district-wide for this school year.…Read More

6 teacher recommendations to help students with math

Poor performance in previous math classes and low confidence are some of students’ biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to math success, according to a new survey about math education.

The survey of more than 400 high school math teachers comes from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Teachers in the survey are all coaches for student teams participating in the MathWords Math Modeling (M3) Challenge, a national online contest SIAM organizes.

The results indicate that students don’t need innate math genius to excel. Instead, they need practice, confidence, and real-world connections.…Read More

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 products seek engagement with robotics, gaming

RobotsLAB, KnowRe try a new approach to math instruction

RobotsLAB’s ‘quadcopter’ helps teach students about quadratic equations.

At the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference in Austin this month, several companies demonstrated products designed to help teach math.

Two that stood out in particular were RobotsLAB and KnowRe, which have taken different approaches to boost engagement in a subject that’s often inaccessible to students.…Read More

Mathlanding helps elementary educators with math instruction

Developed by Maryland Public Television in partnership with The Math Forum at Drexel University and the International Society for Technology in Education, Mathlanding is a new website to support elementary math instruction.

Aimed at elementary math specialists, coaches, mentors, and teachers, the website is a dynamic resource to help support the professional development needs of elementary educators in building mathematical knowledge and instructional practice. It includes videos of exemplary instructional practices, as well as lessons, games, activities, and articles.

A robust search engine gives users the ability to search by keyword, math topic, and grade level anywhere on the site. Users also can browse through resources by Common Core or NCTM content standard.…Read More