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Can you solve it? The joy of grids

The Guardian – Alex Bellos

“Today’s puzzles are set by Daniel Finkel, an inspirational maths educator from Seattle. “Grids are one of the most familiar objects we know,” he says. “And yet it sometimes feels like we know nothing about them at all. There’s so much mystery in such a simple arrangement!” The solutions to today’s puzzles, he adds, are all hiding in plain sight.” (more)

Non-Math Essentials for Learning Math

Edutopia – Margie Pearse

“As a math consultant, I’m in many classrooms, and I get to witness lots of math instruction. I find that there are similar qualities among the classrooms that are really thriving—and those qualities quite often don’t really have much to do with math. There are five non-math qualities I see in the best-run classrooms.” (more)

California’s ambitious education reforms paying off in higher graduation rates and math scores, study finds

Ed Source – Louis Freedberg

“California’s sweeping education reforms championed by Gov. Jerry Brown have resulted in higher graduation rates and especially sizable gains in math among low-income students in the 11th grade, according to a new study. “The evidence suggests that money targeted to students’ needs can make a significant difference in student outcomes and narrow achievement gaps,” the study by researchers at UC Berkeley and the Learning Policy Institute found.” (more)

Analysis: Minnesota Cheers a Booming Graduation Rate — Even as Fewer of Those Grads Can Read or Do Math at a High School Level

The 74 Million – Beth Hawkins

“Some years ago, I was visiting with an inmate in a state prison, a young black man. We’d finished combing through his case, which was a study in sundry miscarriages of justice, and were making small talk. “You know what gets me about this place?” he said, gesturing at the other convicts in the concrete block visiting room. “All these guys graduated from high school.” Covering courts, I didn’t get his point back then. But I thought about him the other day upon reading an analysis published by MinnPost, a nonprofit Minnesota news site where I used to work, showing that graduation rates in the state are rising even though other measures of academic achievement are not. The problem is particularly acute in Minneapolis and St. Paul.” (more)

‘It’s a big world out there’: Teachers take math outside the classroom

Ed Source – Carolyn Jones

“But teachers don’t need to plan extensive field trips to teach math outdoors. A short walk around the block can have the same impact, said Tim Erickson, a math education consultant based in Oakland and author of “Get It Together: Math Problems for Groups, Grades 4-12.” He’s created math lessons that have students heading outside to measure the radius of a sidewalk curb, learn ratios by measuring staircase risers and determine the distance between San Francisco and Los Angeles by measuring a car’s wheel diameter.” (more)

Positive attitude toward math predicts math achievement in kids, study finds

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“For the first time, scientists have identified the brain pathway that links a positive attitude toward math to achievement in the subject. In a study of elementary school students, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine found that having a positive attitude about math was connected to better function of the hippocampus, an important memory center in the brain, during performance of arithmetic problems.” (more)