12 September, 2014
Volume 19 No. 37
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In This Issue

Budget Challenge

Statistics in Schools

Toshiba America Foundation Grants


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


Budget Challenge


What if kids had all the money?


H&R Block earlier this week announced an online simulation to provide teens with financial management skills — and they've earmarked $3 million in scholarships and classroom grant awards.

The Budget Challenge by the world's largest tax services provider assigns each student a fictitious job, salary, and accounts with cell phone companies, cable providers, and other vendors. As their bills arrive over the course of the nine week-long simulation, students must figure out how to balance their paychecks while contributing to retirement plans.

Freely register for the H&R Block Dollars & Sense Budget Challenge and its accompanying financial literacy lessons here:


PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week

"As soon as I wrote it down, I realized I had made the same mistake twice. As I kept mauling over it, I came across two numbers with lots of potential...."
- Lillian, highlighted in the Pre-Algebra PoW's Latest Solution

Statistics in Schools


The U.S. Census Bureau recently released into beta a program to support statistics education.

Statistics in Schools (SIS) freely offers activities, maps, news articles, videos, infographics, and games that combine math and history. Examples of these classroom resources include

  • tools for identifying the demographics of specific states and metro areas
  • activities to analyze information correlating income to educational attainment
  • specific data, such as the number of single-father households, vehicles per household, and salary based on industry sector
  • worksheets to graph state population demographics
  • activities for estimating how many people in the U.S. walk to work

Click on "Teach," in the purple strip near the top, then toggle the triangles on the left for resources specific to each of grades K-8 or high school ("interpreting data"):


The Census Bureau teamed up with the American Statistical Association (ASA), the National Geographic Society (NGS), the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM), and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) to vet and evaluate SIS materials. Designed to complement rather than replace existing lesson plans, they are aligned to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the UCLA National Standards for History.

Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"While looking over my 5th graders' math pages, I noticed the 'Make a problem simpler' strategy being used. It increased a SIMPLE division problem into several more steps. What, if any, disadvantages do you see to employing this strategy? I see this would be useful to understand the structure of a problem, that there are more ways than one to solve the problem, as they go on to college math — but does this make sense for 'everyday living'? P.S. Glad I found your blog. It gave me a better understanding of the goals of the CC Standards and their strategies."
- Donna, posted to Max's blog

Toshiba America Foundation Grants


Passionate about making mathematics more engaging for your students in grades K-5? The Toshiba America Foundation is currently accepting applications for grants of up to $1,000.

See the Toshiba America Foundation site for past recipients, teacher resources, and more — and apply before the deadline of Wednesday, 1 October!


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