So what’s all the hoopla in the news about Common Core standards? Last week, New York State announced results for the new Common Core-aligned state tests in Math and English Language Arts (ELA) for grades 3-8. The data showed a big drop in student proficiency rates compared to previous years’ results, leading to a slew of information that can be tough to wade through. Indeed, the results showed that New York City, where only 26.9% of students were proficient in Math and 26.4% in ELA, has its work cut out for it if it is going to prepare its students to be career and college-ready. For Bedtime Math subscribers and readers, we’ll lay out what led to the drop in scores so that parents and educators can have a clear picture of just what the new scores mean.
We’re pleased to present Danielle Woods, one of the Education.com founders, as our first guest in the 5 Thoughts about Math series. In the coming months we’ll feature additional exciting guests sharing their thoughts about math and raising young mathematicians.
We’re launching Math in a Snap, our first photo challenge! This month’s theme is Find Cool Shapes in Nature. We’re asking our Bedtime Math fans, even our littlest ones, to head outside with a camera (and some adult help) to photograph math shapes in nature. This weekend or in the waning days of summer, we’re challenging you to spot geometric shapes out in the world. Circles, spirals, squares – they’re all out there.
My son’s preschool teacher joked that parents should procure LEGOs at any cost-even if it meant taking out a second mortgage-because those little bricks are like nothing else when it comes to helping kids to develop strong math skills. Recent studies bear out what that preschool teacher already knew – spatial skills can be an early predictor of creative potential in STEM fields, particularly in math.
Around my house, “Can we order pizza?” is a common request. If your kids enjoy pizza, they’ll devour pizza math. When it comes to building math vocabulary and an understanding of fractions, this activity is quite filling.
You don’t have to spend money to create a math board game for your children. With a few basic materials, you can make something fun at home. Depending on your children’s ages and artistic interests, they can even help you develop one! To get started, you just need…
It’s been one month since the Bedtime Math book came out, and the overwhelming response to it has shown that all of us together – me, you, other parents and grandparents and teachers – are part of a movement. A major one. There are lots of adults out there who don’t like math, and it’s turned math into a not-so-beloved thing in our culture. With Bedtime Math we hope to overhaul that by showing the next generation of kids that math is a blast, a treat just like playtime or dessert. And you all, by getting the book and sharing it with the little people in your life, have helped this movement grow. Thank you for helping spread the word!
As the book rolled out – and sold out twice on Amazon – we noticed some really interesting things about this movement we’re all a part of, including:
“Mom, this toy broke, can you buy me a new one?” “Dad, I really want this new game, will you buy it for me?” Sound familiar?
Think of these questions as mathematics learning opportunities. They open to door to discussions about the value of money. Finding real-world applications is one of the easiest ways to get kids excited about learning and it does not get more authentic than earning and saving money.
Backyard treasure hunts were one of my favorite summer math activities when my kids were young. They’re pretty simple to carry out, but do require a bit of advance planning on your part, especially if you want to create clues geared to the interests and abilities specific to each child (like the daily Bedtime Math problems Wee Ones, Little Kids and Big Kids). A good treasure hunt leads to hours of engaging play not to mention early training in spatial skills and a lot of laughs.
Riding in a car with a toddler often requires a lot of patience. Even brief trips can be full of many questions and sometimes tantrums. But with a bit of creativity, imagination, and silliness, you can turn car rides into a lot of fun and even create math learning opportunities.We began doing on-the-go math when our oldest daughter (now 7) was a toddler and now her younger brother enjoys it as much as does. Math + fun all wrapped up in a game initiated by an effort to keep my toddler entertained and distracted.