Posts tagged ‘Common Core State Standards’

March 13, 2013

New Tumblehome Learning/’Mixing in Math’ Partnership Broadcasted in Times Square!

New Tumblehome Learning/TERC partnership broadcasted over Times Square!

New Tumblehome Learning/TERC partnership broadcasted over Times Square!

This past week, the question circulating around TERC’s physical and digital hallways was this: “Is that photo I saw on Facebook real?”

It is indeed! Our news release on the new Tumblehome Learning/’Mixing in Math’ partnership, announced by PR Newswire, was transmitted to the Reuters Sign in Times Square multiple times Tuesday through Friday of last week. Perhaps if you spent afternoons last week in Times Square, you may have caught a glimpse of the Food Fights, Puzzles, and Hideouts book cover!

So what’s this all about? Tumblehome Learning (THL), a non-traditional transmedia publishing company, has partnered with TERC to publish a ‘Mixing in Math’ suite of games and activities. Developed at TERC and based on work funded in part by the National Science Foundation*, these additions to the THL product line of science books and games include the book Food Fights, Puzzles, and Hideouts and the sets of games Jump Ship and Blockade. Spanning the key topics in the elementary grades’ Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, the products help parents, homeschooling families, librarians, and afterschool providers engage children ages 4-12 in the math of everyday activities.

In fact, Food Fights, Puzzles and Hideouts presents hundreds of full-color interdisciplinary math games, projects, and activities that can be done at home, at after-school programs, at school, or ‘mixed in’ to car rides, snack times, and parties. With the card deck Jump Ship players get nine fast-paced games and 22 different levels of play, and  Blockade packages eight dry-erase board games for 2-4 players and offers 28 game options.

Want to learn more or order any of these products? Please visit the official press release, or Tumblehome Learning’s site to order any of these resources for math learning at prices of $10.95 and under.

* ‘Mixing in Math’ has been funded in part by the National Science Foundation, (ESI-0406675, ESI-0714537, ESI-9901289), and has been extensively piloted with children, parents, and informal educators, including after-school providers, librarians, and family numeracy providers. Independent evaluation shows that the materials improve attitudes about math and build math skills and engagement among adults and children.

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February 25, 2013

“In the PD Realm, One Size Does Not Fit All”

Metrics for what qualifies as the ‘best’ curriculum-based professional development program often differ slightly from district to district; school to school; even teacher to teacher. Generally speaking, adherence to content or subject; PD leaders’ levels of experience; and opportunities for participant discussions and networking are favorable—if not completely necessary—components for any curriculum-aligned PD program.

These days, there’s also a surplus of choice in terms of delivery models for professional development. Too often, administrators are left asking, “Which of these many program models is ‘best’ to meet the collective needs of our teachers?” or “Which program structure can be adapted in content and duration to meet the implementation challenges facing our new teachers OR scaled up for our more experienced teachers?” Conversely, districts looking for targeted PD are forced to decide whether the ‘best’ program for them is an online course; a single-day drill-down; or a week of summer coursework. Paradoxically, a wealth of options in the PD realm doesn’t seem to make the decision-making process any easier—especially as very few PD programs come with a lovely ‘all inclusive’ label…

The Investigations Workshops umbrella of PD offerings...

The Investigations Workshops umbrella of PD offerings…

But with Investigations Workshops, no superintendent, principal, or teacher has to worry about exclusionary PD programming. Since 1996, the Workshops team has been offering a varied selection of expert-led PD programs to complement the Investigations in Number, Data, and Space curriculum. From face-to-face workshops to customized professional development models to online courses catering to groups or individuals and ranging in duration from one day to one year, Workshops offers the most comprehensive Investigations PD programming out there AND the most customizable programming for any need; for a single participant; for all participants.

In one large, urban Maryland district, administrators have adopted a ‘custom package’ of Workshops PD to great effect. By offering face-to-face workshops for new teachers, topical workshops throughout the year for teachers and instructional specialists, and the new online course, an Instructional Specialist of Elementary Math for the district says, “With Investigations Workshops’ varied offerings, we can meet the needs of all our teachers and, therefore, the needs of our system.”

In many ways, recognizing that we have a varied population of educators with different respective needs has helped us approach our customized Workshops programming,” she elaborates. “We have teachers who are very thirsty for face-to-face summer professional development and they seek out the opportunities that we can provide. We also have teachers who don’t want the intensive summer PD model, but get something out of customized Workshops institutes throughout the school year. And then we have a lot of teachers with packed schedules who prefer the new online course model, as they can fit it in to their busy schedules whenever they want. We know this custom approach is working because of word-of-mouth—teachers talk about their positive Workshops experiences, and we continue to get more and more interest in these opportunities.

She adds,

In the PD realm, one size does not fit all. Investigations Workshops offers the best variety of Investigations in Number, Data, and Space-specific professional development. We’ve been happily using the Workshops program for 5 years now, and plan on continuing to offer Workshops to all our teachers, new and experienced.

For more information about Investigations Workshops professional development offerings, custom packages, testimonials, or to contact the Workshops team, please visit: http://investigations-workshops.terc.edu.

September 19, 2012

Now Showing: A ‘Mixing in Math’ Webinar!

Mixing in Math (“MiM” for short) is a set of over 200 free, easy-to-use, and Common Core-aligned activities that situate math in the context of everyday experience. Aimed at ‘informal educators’ of children in grades preK-6 (including librarians, after-school providers, and parents), MiM activities comprise craft projects, posters, calendars, and games and span the topics of arithmetic, measurement, time, money, and patterns. MiM activities can be incorporated into an array of afterschool and informal settings, including game nights, story-times, or project times and adapted to groups of varying sizes—from 1 to one dozen. The MiM activity catalog has been developed with the input of hundreds of librarians and informal educators across the country.

MiM Senior Research Associate Nuria Jaumot-Pascual and the White Plains (NY) Public Library’s Children’s Librarian Deb Gaffey have presented many interactive MiM webinars. These hour-long offerings engage adult participants in doing MiM activities together and propel sharing of implementation and adaptation techniques. You can view one of their most recent webinars below, or by clicking here:

Full of great—and duly, accessible—tools and tips, this webinar helps kids AND the adults who work with them gain confidence and competence in math. If that’s not a compelling enough reason to tune in and give MiM a try—external evaluations found that after using MiM for an average of 1-2 years, 90% of librarians cited math as a “strong priority” in children’s library programming vs. 25% at baseline. AND MiM helped 75% of afterschool educators improve their abilities to engage children in math—with the same percentage reporting that children improved their math skills, enjoyment, and comfort. Looks like MiM got the “mix” of math and fun just right!

To learn more about MiM impact, download activities for free, or pick up a training guide, please visit: http://mixinginmath.terc.edu.

April 19, 2012

NCSM and NCTM 2012, Here We Come!

Hello, math-educator friends and colleagues! This next week, TERC staff will be attending and presenting at the 2012 NCSM Annual Conference and the 2012 NCTM Annual Conference —two of the largest math education events in the country. Join us in Philadelphia for over 10 staff presentations, Monday, April 23rd-Friday, April 27th on topics ranging from intervention strategies in the elementary classroom to framing the Common Core State Standards within elementary teaching practices to measuring and aligning early algebra learning in the elementary and middle grades.

Click to download the official listings document and descriptions!

This year, the theme for NCSM (April 23-April 25) is “Life, Liberty, and Mathematics for All: NCSM Leads the Way” with 5 presentation strands including:

  • (1) Bridging the Knowing-Doing Gap: Implementing the Common Core State Standards; 
  • (2) ALL Means ALL: Promoting Equity in Mathematics Education;
  • (3) Mathematics Leaders Translate Vision to Practice: Developing and Supporting Coaches, Specialists, and Teacher Leaders;
  • (4) Making Mathematics Learning Visible: Implementing Formative and Summative Assessments to Support Student Learning;
  • and (5) Leadership to Enhance Mathematics Teaching and Learning for All: Helping administrators and other leaders support high quality mathematics instruction.

This year, NCTM (April 25-April 28) will offer over 700 presentations, special strand sessions pertaining to new technologies, and an exhibit hall with vendors, organizations, and—TERC, at exhibit booth #452! Stop by to check out some of our newest math and numeracy publications, informal math research projects, disabilities education tools, and online gaming and new media endeavors for K-adult audiences.

Travel safe, and see you next week!

April 5, 2012

Sometimes, You Judge a Book by Its Cover…

…and it wins!

TERC’s staff is comprised of researchers, developers, evaluators, mathematicians, scientists, educators, designers and—authors. In addition to the array of deliverables borne of the research endeavors here, the list of STEM-related books by TERC staff is substantive—and downright comprehensive.

That said, it might surprise you to learn that a TERC-authored book recently won an award for its cover design. But that’s exactly what happened with Susan Jo Russell’s (TERC), Deborah Schifter’s (EDC), and Virginia Bastable’s (SummerMath for Teachers) Connecting Arithmetic to Algebra, recently published by Heinemann. The book cover below was a Bookbuilders of Boston winner in the ‘Professional Covers’ category and will be featured at the 55th Annual New England Book Show on Wednesday, May 2nd, at Boston’s Symphony Hall.

 

 

Be sure to check out this great accompanying essay (or click on the image below) by Susan Jo appearing in the Heinemann catalog. She examines one classroom technique for connecting a 2nd grade addition and subtraction lesson to the properties of operations—AND the Common Core State Standards. For many more of those helpful classroom examples of connecting arithmetic to algebra in the elementary and middle grades, pick up a copy of Connecting Arithmetic to Algebra at Heinemann.