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NCTM in the News

2 + 2 = What? Parents Rail against Common Core Math 
NCTM President Diane Briars talks about parents’ frustrations with math homework and the Common Core. “Part of what we are trying to teach children is to become problem solvers and thinkers,” said Briars. “We want students to understand what they’re doing, not just get the right answer.” Associated Press 

Parents Should Brace for Frustration
When parents see their kids frustrated by math homework, their first reaction is to step in and help. It’s natural for them to teach the step-by-step ways that they learned to solve problems. “They don’t need to teach the math,” says NCTM President Diane Briars. “What they need to help their children do is figure out ‘What is the problem asking you?’” 

NCTM’s President Discusses Priorities
NCTM President Diane Briars recently chatted with Larry Jacobs, host of Education Talk Radio, about her plans for her presidency, including supporting Principles to Actions, the Common Core State Standards, and more. Education Talk Radio 

Mischief at Math Convention 
Who says math isn’t fun? Definitely not attendees of NCTM’s 2014 Annual Meeting and Exposition! The local ABC station in New Orleans visited the conference—did you make the cut? WGNO ABC 

Guidance on Common Core Teaching Practices 
Education reporter Liana Heitin sat down with Steven Leinwand, lead writer of Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All, as well as NCTM President Diane Briars, and NCTM Past President Linda Gojak. Education Week  

Common-Core Math and Special Needs 
Students with special needs are often taught exclusively through key words and direct instruction. Learn why a student with special needs says, “It took a stroke and a coma, but now I like math!” Education Week 

Annual Meeting Preview Radio Interview 
NCTM President Linda Gojak recently previewed the 2014 NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans, April 9–12, with Larry Jacobs, host of Education Talk Radio. Learn more about the preconference workshops, program and presentations, and all that will be happening at this exciting event in the Big Easy! EducationTalk Radio 

Revised SAT Will Provide More Realistic View
Revisions to the SAT that will go into effect in spring 2016 will give educators a “more realistic view” of students’ math skills, according to NCTM President Linda Gojak. “Rather than address a lot of topics that cover a wide variety of things, it appears that what they’ve done is really look at the topics that prepare kids not only for college ... but also beyond college in mathematics that’s really important, no matter what they’re going to do,” Gojak said. U.S. News & World Report 

Putting Math Standards into Motion
Giving math teachers the training and classroom tools to effectively implement the Common Core is the biggest challenge that school districts face when it comes to improving achievement. That’s why making teachers comfortable with the new standards will be a driving force in many of the sessions at this spring’s NCTM Annual Meeting. District Administration 

Three Math-Instruction Tips for Preservice Teachers
Jennifer Bay-Williams, elected to serve on the NCTM Board of Directors beginning in April 2014, shares three lessons that she hopes preservice teachers in her mathematics methods course take away from the class. Her tips include engaging students in challenging tasks, using higher-level questions in the classroom, and tailoring instruction to students’ specific needs. 

Texas Retreats on Math Standards
When Texas became the first state to require advanced algebra for high school students in 2006, Governor Rick Perry said the policy would better prepare young people for success in higher education. Now Texas is rolling back the requirement for second-year algebra under pressure from lawmakers, some educators, and business and trade associations. “What Texas is doing is absolutely counter to the trend,” said NCTM President Linda Gojak. “Not requiring Algebra II is a cop-out.” Bloomberg News

‘Not-So-Common’ Core
What is “common” about the Common Core State Standards? Many states have chosen to adopt these standards. However, adopting states have the option of augmenting the standards (up to 15%). Read more in an op-ed piece that NCTM Board Member Mark Ellis wrote with two colleagues. Orange County Register 

Podcasts Bring Life to Past JRME Articles
Over the course of 2013, interviewed seven mathematics education researchers about articles published in NCTM’s Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (JRME). Each article and associated podcast explores a different topic, including teaching English Language Learners, curriculum, assessments, and standards. Listen to the full collection.

New Video Provides Insight about Pick-a-Path  
Have you downloaded Illuminations’ most popular app? Learn what Pick-a-Path is all about! “I couldn’t believe I was addicted to a math game,” said one student. This new video also includes teacher testimonials. Learning is fun. Get addicted!

Pilot Algebra Class Forges New Path in Learning
NCTM President Linda Gojak’s latest President’s Message, “Algebra: Not If but When is cited in this article which focuses on a school district that has launched an accelerated algebra program at the middle school level. Students taking part in the program learn pre-algebra skills in seventh grade and take a full year of algebra I in eighth grade. School officials say that students are assessed on a regular basis to ensure that the accelerated path is the best fit for them. Vineyard Gazette

Math Education and the Common Core

NCTM President Linda Gojak was a guest on Education Talk Radio with host Larry Jacobs. She discussed the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and previewed NCTM’s goals for 2014. Education Talk Radio 

Integrated Approach to Teaching Math
Schools in some states have adopted an integrated math model, which blends math topics, such as algebra, geometry, and statistics, into one course. A renewed interest in the model comes on the heels of research showing it improved student achievement. Even so, some question the use of an integrated program. eSchool News

In-Depth Preview of Baltimore and Las Vegas Regional Meetings
Bonnie Ennis and Dave Brancamp discuss details about the scheduled programs and all the projected happenings at the Baltimore and Las Vegas Regional Conferences taking place later this month. Planning to visit us? Listen to the interview. Education Talk Radio  

Common Core Promotes Critical Thinking
Past president of NCTM Cathy Seeley says, “It’s much too early to judge the Common Core, other than to say it’s a good enough framework, and improvement can happen, and with a lot of states using it, it means the likelihood of getting high-quality materials and good tests goes up.” KETK

Nontraditional Math Results in Higher Test Scores
For many years, studies have shown that American students score significantly lower than students worldwide in mathematics achievement, ranking 25th among students from 34 countries. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri have found that high school students in the United States achieve higher scores on a standardized mathematics test if they study from a curriculum known as integrated mathematics. The study was recently published in NCTM’s Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. 

Common Core Math Encourages Critical Thinking
The Common Core State Standards continue to create national debate. Some critics say the new math standards allow for wrong answers and undercut critical thinking. NCTM disagrees with these critics. “One of the things we learned from research, and there’s a lot of it out there, is that kids do not necessarily learn from the algorithmic method,” Linda Gojak, president of NCTM said, adding, “The assessment is that it is more about kids making sense of what they are learning instead of memorizing a step-by-step process.” 

Common Core Exams Shine a Light on Appropriate Use of Calculators
Students taking Common Core math exams in grades 3–5 will not be permitted to use calculators on the exams, but students in high school will have some access to the devices, according to policies created by the two consortia developing the exams. In general, language in the standards about calculators focuses on their appropriate, strategic use in the classroom. It will be easier to judge the effects of the policy when more test questions are made available, according to NCTM President Linda Gojak, but overall, she is “not too troubled” by the policy. Education Week

MOTO—Making Math Fun For ALL Students
NCTM recently introduced a new response to intervention (RtI) digital series. Math of Tomorrow (MOTO) “blends what we know keeps students engaged with an interactive format so that students can progress at their own rate,” said coauthor Amy Lingo. Learn more by listening to a radio show on Education Talk Radio.


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