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Could you pass a maths GCSE exam?

The Guardian – Staff Writer

“Do you remember anything your maths teacher taught you? Have a go at our quiz with questions from last year’s higher tier paper by the AQA exam board. Calculators may be used only from questions 1-6.”(more)

Why we learn math

The Herald and News – Staff Writer

“Why do we study math? Harouni didn’t always spend his days studying antique math curricula and century-old textbooks. He used to be an elementary school teacher in Cambridge Public Schools. It was there that his math students started asking that all-too-familiar question: Why? Instead of offering the easy answer — Because math is good for you! — Harouni promised them a real answer. And that required that he do some homework of his own. A lot of it. His research led him to Harvard, where he now lectures at the Graduate School of Education, and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he is writing a book on math education.”(more)

3 Ways To Teach Math That Might Actually Work

The Federalist – Jennifer Doverspike

“I’ve seen articles before about how we teach math in America. I’ve seen memes lampooning Common Core problem-solving. But I never made the effort to put the concepts together until that day, the day I watched my daughter gleefully and voluntarily work her way through a Kumon math book. I watched her, so thrilled to do worksheet after worksheet, and realized, “Baby, one day you’re going to hate this.” So, as I’m wont to do, I began to fret. Some would say it’s too early to fret. She won’t be beginning formal math in school for a few more years. Who cares what curriculum they use? Who cares how they teach her? She likes math enough to seek out how to do addition problems—she’s obviously a “math person.” Right? A few years ago, I wrote about the pillars of literacy. One of the key takeaways in teaching literacy is that it’s not all about phonics and rote memorization of sight words, although they too, have a role. Imaginative play, for example, is a key component of literacy because it increases situational vocabulary, and teaches that stories have a beginning, middle, and end. The last thing I’d want is to have my daughter’s love of reading beat out of her through endless phonics drills and spelling tests — which is why I choose her education based on the amount of play her curriculum allows.”(more)

Babies’ spatial reasoning predicts later math skills

Medical X-Press – Carol Clark

“Spatial reasoning measured in infancy predicts how children do at math at four years of age, finds a new study published in Psychological Science. “We’ve provided the earliest documented evidence for a relationship between spatial reasoning and math ability,” says Emory University psychologist Stella Lourenco, whose lab conducted the research. “We’ve shown that spatial reasoning beginning early in life, as young as six months of age, predicts both the continuity of this ability and mathematical development.” Emory graduate student Jillian Lauer is co-author of the study. The researchers controlled the longitudinal study for general cognitive abilities of the children, including measures such as vocabulary, working memory, short-term spatial memory and processing speed.”(more)

Inspiring Math Learning Through Coding

The Huffington Post – Kara Mulder

“For too many teachers and parents, computer coding may be the equivalent to Klingon; a complex language in which only the bravest (which in this context means ‘nerdiest’) among us know. However, for those bold enough to go where the majority of instructors and students circumvent, coding can be a great vehicle for inspiring a greater degree of learning within the study of mathematics and beyond.”(more)

Americans Win Gold at Math Olympiad

Education Next – Chester E. Finn, Jr.

“While everyone is fixated on the Rio Olympics and the impressive start that U.S. athletes have made there, it’s worth a brief detour to the results of another summer competition—this one in Hong Kong—in which the American team dominated: the International Math Olympiad (IMO) for high-school students. More than one hundred countries fielded teams at this year’s fifty-seventh annual competition, including most of those whose students surpass American teens when PISA and TIMSS assess math prowess. And yes, it’s true that Korea, China, and Singapore placed second, third, and fourth in this year’s IMO. But the six Olympians who represented the United States won gold. Nor was this a fluke. The American team came in first last year, too. In fact, with a single exception, it has placed in the IMO’s top five every year since 2000.”(more)