Marin Mommies presents a guest article by Scott Rubin of Mill Valley Mathnasium on the new Common Core Standards now being used in many Marin schools.
The Common Core Standards are a topic of much discussion lately. The effects the standards will have, both beneficial and adverse, are hotly debated. But one fact is clear: the Standards are here and parents, students and teachers all over California are working with them every day. Nearly all Marin County schools have implemented the Standards as of the beginning of this school year.
The implementation of the Common Core Standards has had a profound impact on the mathematics curriculum in the Marin County schools, from kindergarten through high school. Classes like geometry and algebra 2 have had their course curricula radically changed from what they had been for decades. Elementary grades have seen many math concepts moved from one grade to another while other math concepts have been moved to the middle school curriculum or altogether eliminated.
While the efficacy of such changes remains to be seen, one thing is clear: students, parents and teachers alike will need to deal with a difficult transition period over the next few years.
Marin Mommies presents a guest post by Scott Rubin of Mill Valley Mathnasium, who offers some tips on prepping your child for the SAT.
When should my child start preparing for the SAT? How often should they study? What topics should be reviewed? Should more time be spent on geometry or algebra? Should I invest money into a crash course offered by a company or get a private tutor? These are valid questions students and parents ask themselves.
Analogies I like to refer to for examples are: When should a baseball player start preparing for his major league debut? When should a musician start preparing for his first concert at Carnegie Hall? SAT preparation should start in elementary school. The SAT is an accumulation of math knowledge of your entire school life up to that point. Sure, some people are naturally good at math and most topics come easy to them but for the vast majority of us, it is a lot of work to master SAT type questions.
Marin Mommies presents a guest post by Scott Rubin of Mill Valley Mathnasium.
Do you believe you're not good at math? Various studies suggest that with motivation and good teaching strategies, anyone can succeed in math. In fact, studies have shown that students who are motivated to do well actually learn faster than students with higher IQs who are less motivated. It doesn't matter if you are at grade level, ahead, or a grade level behind. The right motivation and tools will help you succeed. Just accept your starting point and move forward with the right attitude.
It's important to develop a sense of ability in a child early on, especially when it comes to mathematics. If your child does not have a strong foundation by the time they enter high school you can expect a lot of stress and anxiety (for everyone).
Forcing kids to hit the books every night however, won't necessarily result in superb math skills. Students have to want to learn—this is where the challenge lies. Parents need to find ways to motivate their children without adding pressure. Setting goals and rewarding their success is a good starting point. As they work and achieve their objectives, their confidence will grow and math will no longer be perceived as intimidating. It also may be more helpful for parents and teachers to show how math ties to real life—for instance, understanding that four $3 slices of pizza cost $12 rather than just memorizing times tables.
Marin Mommies presents a guest post by Scott Rubin of Mill Valley Mathnasium, featuring a great math tip for parents, a math joke, and a math question.
Why do parents read to their children, but not do "math" with their children? Many parents feel uncomfortable with speaking "math" and lack confidence in their own math aptitude. Simple number counting goes a long way, especially at a very impressionable young age. You can start at any age, even as early as one year old. Count from 1 to 10 by ones and twos. Also, count up to 20, 30, etc. and count by threes, fours, etc.
Count by ones while handing a ball to your child then subtract one while taking a ball back. Be creative, because you can make a difference in your child's "math" life with these simple techniques.
Today, Jenny picked 8 flowers. Yesterday, she picked 3 more flowers than she picked today. How many total flowers did Jenny pick yesterday and today combined?