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Learn math without fear, Stanford expert says

Learn math without fear, Stanford expert says
Stanford Report, January 29, 2015 Stanford Professor Jo Boaler says that students most effectively learn "math facts" working on problems that they enjoy, rather than through exercises and drills they fear. Speed pressure, timed testing and blind memorization damage children's experience of math, she says. By Clifton B. Cherries/Shutterstock Stanford Professor Jo Boaler finds that children who excel in math learn to develop "number sense," which is much different from the memorization that is often stressed in school. Students learn math best when they approach the subject as something they enjoy, according to a Stanford education expert. "There is a common and damaging misconception in mathematics – the idea that strong math students are fast math students," said Jo Boaler, a Stanford professor of mathematics education and the lead author on a new working paper. Curriculum timely On the other hand, people with "number sense" are those who can use numbers flexibly, she said.

Tackling the school industry mathematics divide This article consists of edited extracts from Identifying and Supporting Quantitative Skills of 21st Century Workers: Final Report. Prepared by the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers and the Australian Industry Group, © Commonwealth of Australia 2014. The teaching of mathematics in secondary schools and the use of mathematical skills in the workforce are very different. Key messages The application of mathematics in the workplace is not straightforward and goes beyond a command of ‘core’ or basic mathematical content. ability to recognise and identify how and when mathematics is used in the workplace; an understanding of mathematical concepts, procedures and skills; an understanding of the kinds of practical tasks they need to perform; and the strategic processes they should be able to use in using and applying mathematics. There is a gap in the ability of young people to integrate these skills in the workplace. The case study approach The place and importance of mathematics 1.

FluencyWithoutFear-Jan-28-2015.pdf 'Fraction Phobia': The Root of Math Anxiety? Over the past year, since I took over the common-core math beat, I've been thinking a lot about fractions. As I wrote in November, the Common Core State Standards for mathematics emphasize fractions as points on a number line, rather than just parts of a whole. Now, more teachers are pinning numbers to clotheslines to demonstrate fractions rather than divvying pizzas and fruit pies. In a phone call last week, Hung-Hsi Wu, a professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, who helped write the common standards in math, gave an impassioned explanation of why instruction on fractions, which he calls "the backbone of school mathematics," needed to change. Fractions are "really an abstract concept" Wu said. Wu claims that the beginnings of math anxiety in students can often be traced to "the day they go to school and learn about fractions." Some research has indeed linked math anxiety to early exposure to negative math experiences. Similarities to Whole Numbers

Helping Children Make Sense of Numbers: Number Sense | Dr. Rebecca Palacios Number sense is one of the most difficult concepts to teach young children. Why? Because it's abstract. For children to grasp number sense, they need to understand that an abstract symbol (the number 3 or 8, for example) means an amount or quantity that could apply to anything. They need to learn that the number 7 can stand for the girls in the room, cups in a box, blocks on a table, pieces of a puzzle or how many scrapes they have on their leg. But once children develop number sense, wow! Young learners love knowing that numbers can represent everything from a single, little pebble in the palm of their hand to the billions of grains of sand on a beach. To teach number sense to your young child, begin with the numbers 1 to 10 because we use a base 10 system, and these are the numbers that young learners are most familiar with. Here are some of the many simple activities that can help your child to develop number sense: Talk about numbers--what they mean to you and how you use them.

Old school or new? Math teachers debate best methods as Canadian scores fall Don’t get math teachers started on best teaching practices. The discussions are emotional, heated and they don’t agree on much – except that Canadian kids are falling behind their peers in other countries, and there’s no clear solution. There are generally two camps: those in favour of the old-school method to lecture kids with a “drill-and-kill” format that preaches practice, and another, ever-growing group that believes a more creative approach is needed to engage students. At a recent event in Toronto, dozens of teachers waited in line to take selfies with math-teaching celebrity Dan Meyer, delaying his keynote talk at the Ontario Association for Mathematics Education conference. His approach is simple, Meyer says on the phone from California, where he’s a math education researcher at Stanford University. He presents a problem at the start of class, and lets the students try to figure it out. “That initial moment of struggle prepares them for what they’ll learn later,” he says.

How to Count: A Guide for Grownups | The Kids' Quadrant One of the things I love about my job is that I get to look in-depth at mathematics concepts that appear basic, but are surprisingly complex. Understanding the complexity of the skills our kids are learning can really help us as parents to appreciate what they are capable of. Knowing what we’re watching can also change how we interact with our children. Take counting. Counting is second-nature to us grownups and we probably can’t even remember when it wasn’t. But it takes children several years of practice and play to become really, truly proficient. Learn all the counting words (“one, two, three, four, …”).Remember the correct order for all the counting words.Make sure every single thing in the set gets counted. That’s a lot of stuff! Counting Before You Know How Not long ago I recorded my nephew counting cookie dough blobs on a cookie sheet. Notice that my nephew uses the correct counting sequence through ten, but then skips straight to 14 and 16. See? ENCOURAGE: Count everything!

theconversation A common view is that students learn maths best when teachers give clear explanations of mathematical concepts, usually in isolation from other concepts, and students are then given opportunities to practise what they have been shown. I’ve recently undertaken research at primary and junior secondary levels exploring a different approach. This approach involves posing questions like the following and expecting (in this case, primary level) students to work out their own approaches to the task for themselves prior to any instruction from the teacher: The minute hand of a clock is on two, and the hands make an acute angle. What might be the time? There are three ways that this question is different from conventional questions. Second, the question has more than one correct answer. Third, students can respond at different levels of sophistication: some students might find just one answer, while other students might find all of the possibilities and formulate generalisations.

8 ways teachers can talk less and get kids talking more If you do fewer teacher-directed activities, that means the kids will naturally do more talking, doesn’t it? Not necessarily. I have often found myself talking almost constantly during group work and student-directed projects because I’m trying to push kids’ thinking, provide feedback, and help them stay on task. Even when the learning has been turned over to the students, it’s still tempting to spend too much time giving directions, repeating important information, and telling students how they did instead of asking them to reflect on their work. 1. It can be uncomfortable to watch kids struggle to figure out an answer, but they need time and silence to work through it. 2. It’s easy to get in an instructional rut when you stand at the same place near the board all day long. 3. Cut down on conversations about bathroom/water/pencil sharpening/etc by teaching kids to use sign language to request permission: use sign language to indicate your answer back: yes, no, or wait. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

The Three Acts Of A Mathematical Story | dy/dan 2016 Aug 6. Here is video of this task structure implemented with elementary students. 2013 May 14. Here’s a brief series on how to teach with three-act math tasks. It includes video. 2013 Apr 12. Storytelling gives us a framework for certain mathematical tasks that is both prescriptive enough to be useful and flexible enough to be usable. Act One Introduce the central conflict of your story/task clearly, visually, viscerally, using as few words as possible. With Jaws your first act looks something like this: The visual is clear. With math, your first act looks something like this: The visual is clear. Leave no one out of your first act. Act Two The protagonist/student overcomes obstacles, looks for resources, and develops new tools. Before he resolves his largest conflict, Luke Skywalker resolves a lot of smaller ones — find a pilot, find a ship, find the princess, get the Death Star plans back to the Rebellion, etc. So it is with your second act. What tools do they have already? Act Three

5 steps to a problem-solving classroom culture Math problems can be engaging and thought-provoking with the right instructional strategies Problem solving is one of today’s top skills—students who apply problem-solving strategies in the classroom are building important talents for college and the workforce. The math classroom is one of the best places to help students build these skills. Creating a culture of problem solving in a math classroom or in a school involves prompting students and educators to think a little differently and systemically. “The world does not need more people who are good at math,” said Gerald Aungst, supervisor of gifted and elementary mathematics in Pennsylvania’s Cheltenhamn Township Schools. “What the world needs are more problem solvers and more innovators.” “We want people who are innovators, and don’t assume that what people tell them is impossible is impossible,” Aungst said during an edWeb leadership webinar. (Next page: Five steps to creating a culture of problem solving)

Teacher | Online publication for school educators | ACER As a mathematics educator I have worked with many students suffering from mathematics anxiety. I have taught six year olds in a Year 1 Mathematics Intervention program, senior secondary students studying Year 12 mathematics subjects and adults studying to be early childhood, primary and secondary teachers. The symptoms of mathematics anxiety varied from expressing a dislike of mathematics to an adult who had to exit a lecture theatre in a hurry when numbers were displayed on a screen. Researchers have found that the way mathematics is taught contributes to mathematics anxiety particularly when there is an emphasis on rote learning of rules and procedures. ‘Maths anxiety is a problem for educators because it can prevent students from demonstrating their maths capabilities. Swan (2004) lists six ways that teachers can engage their students’ interest in mathematics. References ACARA (2014). Blazer, C. (2011) Strategies for Reducing Math Anxiety. Swan, P. (2004) I hate mathematics!

About EDUC115N About This Course You can now register for the current offering of this course. If you are interested in Jo Boaler's "How to Learn Math: For Students" course, the course is available here: How to Learn Math: For Students This course offers important new research ideas on learning, the brain, and math that can transform students’ experiences with math. This course first ran last summer (June - Sep 2013) but will soon be re-opening and will run for an extended time, probably April-October. More than 40,000 people took the last class – mainly teachers, parents and school administrators. 95% of people completing the end of course survey said that they would change their teaching or ways of helping as a result of the course. An accompanying student intervention course will be offered in similar months in the 2013-14 school year (May/June) and through the summer. Concepts 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Prerequisites There are no prerequisites for this course. Course Staff Frequently Asked Questions No.

No math gene: Learning mathematics takes practice -- ScienceDaily New research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology shows that if you want to be good at math, you have to practice all different kinds of mathematics. What makes someone good at math? A love of numbers, perhaps, but a willingness to practice, too. New research at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim could have an effect on how math is taught. This might seem obvious to some, but it goes against the traditional view that if you are good at math, it is a skill that you are simply born with. Professor Hermundur Sigmundsson at Department of Psychology is one of three researchers involved in the project. The numbers The researchers tested the math skills of 70 Norwegian fifth graders, aged 10.5 years on average. "We found support for a task specificity hypothesis. Nine types of math tasks were tested, from normal addition and subtraction, both orally and in writing, to oral multiplication and understanding the clock and the calendar.

Math made fun with simulated climb of Mount Everest