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In this web seminar, originally broadcast on October 4, 2012, education technology experts and practitioners from K5 schools described how they are utilizing adaptive instructional technology as part of blended learning models to individualize and differentiate math instruction in the classroom.

James Dent knew ST Math would help the students at the charter school he co-founded two years ago because he’d seen its power at other schools. But he had no idea how effective it would be with teachers.

Almost everyone I meet who deals with education technology has the same misconception about learning. We all think that the promise of technology is that students will be able to whiz through more content in a shorter period of time. With adaptive software-based instruction, there’s nothing stopping ‘em, right?

Andrew Coulson

Classifications of blended learning, where digital content is blended with classroom instruction, often include explanatory diagrams showing the physical location and times when teachers and students use computers. These demonstrate the potential for making the use of learning resources more efficient.

What a difference a year—and online math practice—can make. 

Cherry Hill, N.J. students who struggled with math in first grade mastered their second-grade work after piloting IXL Learning that year. 

“Students love it,” says Waleska Batista-Arias, the former district technology coach who returned to the classroom. “We’ve even had parents write us thank-you notes.”

As districts across the country adopt the Common Core math standards, many district math coordinators are looking for effective tools to help their students transition to the new curriculum.

Math CurriculumImproving the success of moderately performing students has been the predominant theory behind mathematics curriculum reform for much of the last few decades, particularly since No Child Left Behind was enacted in 2002. Since then, many district leaders and education reformers began promoting eighth-grade algebra as a means of accelerating math education for later success.

In a school with a large population of special needs and non-native English speaking students, frustration and surrender are major challenges for the staff. Turns out an animated penguin can make life easier for everyone involved.

Matthew Peterson is a co-founder of MIND Research Institute.

Special Education and a New Normal in Math 

By Matthew Peterson

In fifth grade, I was allowed to enroll into a normal class with normal students. I even started to feel “normal” until I had to ask the teacher how to spell the word “girl”. I could never remember if it was spelled G-R-I-L or G-I-R-L. I made a wild guess and penciled the word “gril.”

“That would be pronounced grill,” he explained. “In girl, the i sound comes before the r. Can’t you hear that?”

Fifteen schools in Maryland have been involved with a special project from the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) to bring STEM education—science, technology, engineering and math—to middle- and high-school students, working in partnership with agencies like the National Institutes of Health, NASA and the U.S. Naval Academy.

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