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Webinars and Workshop: Noyce Program

Teacher and Frustrated StudentTwo online webinars and a workshop that will provide information about the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, including how to prepare Letters of Intent and proposals for the upcoming deadlines, will be held Feb. 15, 16, and 21, respectively. The deadline for registration is Monday, Feb. 13, 2012. The program seeks to encourage talented STEM majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers.

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Common Math Content Released

math homeworkThe Common Core State Standards just took a big step toward becoming classroom practice. Some 44 states and the District of Columbia adopted these new standards in English language arts and mathematics over the past year. Now, STEM teachers are getting the first details of the key content students must master when common assessments roll out in 2014.

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America’s Math Gap

Math ConceptsWhy do U.S. students fare so poorly in mathematics compared with peers in other nations? A new study suggests a major factor may be the easier math curriculum American kids typically encounter. “The consequences are clear-less opportunity to learn challenging mathematics corresponds to lower achievement,” the researchers conclude.

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Ham It Up and Pack Them In

WinnSan Diego teacher Jonathan Winn has done what some would say is impossible: He’s inspired high school students to get excited about math. His AP calculus class is the most popular course in a school with a large number of low-income students for whom English is not their native language.

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Feature: Japan’s Approach to Math Learning

Japanese LearningForget graphing calculators. The hottest tool for learning math in this high-tech powerhouse is a relic from Japan’s preindustrial past: the venerable abacus. At a time when ubiquitous digital devices are blamed for making people “dumber,” the world’s original calculating device, known as the soroban, is more essential than ever, advocates contend.

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Grant to Aid STEM Teacher Recruitment

Teach for America TeacherTeach for America is the latest player in the nation’s effort to improve STEM education. The alternative teacher-preparation program is getting a $500,000 financial boost from the ExxonMobil Foundation to recruit and train recent college graduates for math and science teaching positions in high-needs communities.

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Kentucky Weighs Teacher Bonus for Math and Science

Kentucky CapitolA bill pending in the Kentucky legislature would pay extra sums to math and science teachers, including bonuses of up to $7,500 a year to those whose students score well on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests. But some teachers have mixed feelings about the proposal.

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Outsourcing Math in Britain

Indian Educators on ComputersOnce a week, 11-year-olds at Ashmount Primary School in North London settle in front of computers and put on headsets. A few minutes later, they’re connected online to math teachers thousands of miles away in the Indian state of Punjab. Ashmount is one of three British state schools that outsource part of their teaching to India through BrightSpark Education.

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Do Students Need Less Algebra?

CalculatorIs there an algebra overkill? John W. Myres, a retired California school teacher and superintendent, thinks so. Myres notes that most school districts require all students to take one to two years of algebra to graduate and suggests this may be too much of a good thing.

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