25 July, 2014
Volume 19 No. 30
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In This Issue

Twitter Math Camp 2014

Instructional Practices for First-Grade Math Students

The New Yorker Magazine Does the Math, Free


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


Twitter Math Camp 2014


TwitterMathCamp 2014 (TMC14) kicked off yesterday. Follow this "conference run by teachers, for teachers" with the wiki above, which gathers

  • morning sessions
  • presentations, afternoon sessions, and "My Favorites"
  • participant blogs
  • participant Twitter handles

Last week, TMC launched a Pinterest account, which already features two dozen boards for math grades and courses, teacher blogs, interactive notebooks, Standards Based Grading (SBG), formative assessment, and other topics:


TMC most recently appeared in these pages when the event came to the Forum's own Drexel University. Get in on the long weekend's continuing action with the hashtag #TMC14:


Instructional Practices for First-Grade Math Students


How do we teach first graders who have a history of difficulties with math?

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University and University of California, Irvine, have published an analysis of the association between the instructional practices used by over 3,600 U.S. teachers and the mathematics achievement gains by their nearly 13,400 students. For students with math difficulties, only traditional, teacher-directed practices — such as relying on textbooks, worksheets, and practice and drill — correlated with achievement gains. When faced with higher percentages of these students, however, teachers tended toward more student-centered practices, such as using manipulatives, movement, and music.

According to one of the study's authors, "Math educators have created many competing curricula, and we have very limited understanding of their relative effectiveness. However, activities such as routine practice or drill, math worksheets, problems from textbooks and math on the chalkboard appear to be most effective, probably because they increase the automaticity of arithmetic."

The article goes on to conclude that "only those student-centered practices involving work on problems with several solutions, peer tutoring, and activities involving real-life mathematics might be expected to result in greater achievement, and only for first grade students without a prior history" of mathematics difficulties.

"Which Instructional Practices Most Help First-Grade Students With and Without Mathematics Difficulties?" appears in the most recent issue of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a peer-reviewed quarterly of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Freely access the abstract and citation details here:


The New Yorker Magazine Does the Math, Free


This week, The New Yorker announced a "summer-long free-for-all": unfettered access to articles from 2007 to the present — no need for payment, login, or subscription.

Education- and math-themed non-fiction from the past seven years, many from the weekly's Annals of Education section, include

Just last week, the periodical with more National Magazine Awards than any other chronicled the saga of Atlanta's public schools:


Hurry and pack in your summer reading now; The New Yorker plans to roll out a metered paywall system sometime this autumn.


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