Days after the epic NSTA conference (#NSTA14, @NSTA) in Boston, IT’S ABOUT TIME® charged “full STEM ahead” into New Orleans for the math-centric NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition (@NCTM, #NCTMNOLA), where NCTM — National Council of Teachers of Mathematics — assembled a wide variety of sessions (more than 700!) on topics ranging from technology in the classroom to social justice and education for all to that headline-making, oft-criticized lightning rod: the Common Core.
It was easy to spot math legends and luminaries strolling around like Sherry Fraser, Jo Boaler (@joboaler), who gave an inspiring presentation, and Eric Scholz (@ericpscholz), who stopped by our booth and discussed our Meaningful Math program with IT’S ABOUT TIME® co-founder, Tom Laster.
Skim our #NCTMNOLA highlights of the first day in our Storify recap HERE (also embedded at the end of this post). And take a look at a few photos from math-loving attendees we gathered at our Pinterest page HERE.
While we hit the exhibit floor (Booth #1626) to share our newly updated math programs, Meaningful Math™: Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 and Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP)® (which garnered much attention and interest from attendees), we decided to round up the buzziest math-related must-reads:
Writing in The Atlantic, Jessica Lahey (@jesslahey) defends the “Core” against growing complaints over the new standards. Critics should instead point fingers at states and school districts, writes Lahey, arguing: “In order to have an honest and productive debate about the efficacy of the Common Core State Standards, we must separate fact from fiction, and the idea that a particular confusing math curriculum is part and parcel of the Common Core is fiction.”
Education Week‘s Liana Heitin (@LianaHeitin) details a new study showing the influence of genetic factors on the development of math anxiety — one of the hottest topics in education right now. Here’s a great essay on the subject, via Stanford University math education professor Jo Boaler (@joboaler), writing about how timed testing contributes to negative experiences.
Boaler’s April 10 session, “Promoting Equity Through Teaching for a Growth Mindset,” drew a raft of positive buzz on the micro-blogging site, where attendees posted in real time her insights on empowering all students with challenging tasks that enhance critical thinking, spark positive associations with math and perpetuate the idea the failure is OK. “When you got that question wrong, your brain grew,” said Boaler. “But when you get it right, nothing happens to your brain.” Meanwhile, tweeters shared slides from her presentation, with one witness saying: “This breaks my heart.”
Education Week interviewed Steven Leinwand (@steve_leinwand), author of Principles to Action: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All, a new 135-page manual that aims to help educators successfully incorporate the Common Core into curricula. “The issue of implementation begins with high-quality teaching and learning,” said Leinwand, who works with the American Institutes for Research. “People think when you give standards and hold them accountable on a test, somehow it’s supposed to happen magically.”
The good folks over at KQED‘s Mind/Shift take cues from Boaler and Company, asking whether a non-challenging curriculum is the reason why American students are ranked 26th out of 34 countries in math.
Enjoy these great reads and share your feedback in the comments. Also: If you have a must-read link, don’t be shy — let us know! (We might even write about it on this blog.)
Have a great weekend!
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