Posts Tagged ‘ math ’

Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

To Earn Classroom Certification, More Teaching and Less Testing
New York and up to 25 other states are moving toward changing the way they grant licenses to teachers, de-emphasizing tests and written essays in favor of a more demanding approach that requires aspiring teachers to prove themselves through lesson plans, homework assignments, and videotaped instruction sessions. (via NY Times)

Does Impulsiveness Give Boys Math Edge?
A new study suggests boys’ impulsive approach to math problems in the classroom may help them get ahead of girls in the long-run. The research claims girls may tend to favor a slow and accurate approach — often computing the answer by counting — while boys may take a faster, but more error-prone tack, calling out the answer from memory. (via Live Science)

Burned-Out Nurses Linked to More Infections in Patients
For every extra patient added to a nurse’s workload, there was roughly one additional hospital-acquired infection logged per 1,000 patients, according to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. (via NBC News)

Psychological Abuse: More Common and Equally Devastating as Other Child Maltreatment
A new study suggests psychological abuse — possibly one of the most common forms of child abuse — may be just as devastating as other forms of child abuse. Psychological maltreatment can include terrorizing, belittling, or neglecting a child, the study’s authors say. (via TIME)

Mysterious Nodding Disease Afflicts Young Ugandans
More than 300 young Ugandans have died as a result of nodding syndrome, a mysterious illness that stunts children’s growth and destroys their cognition, rendering them unable to perform small tasks. Uganda officials say some 3,000 children in the East African country suffer from the affliction. (via Associated Press)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Record Year for Whooping Cough; Health Experts Say “Get the Shot”
The U.S. is on course for a record year for whooping cough, health officials said this week. And while vaccinating kids is clearly the most important defense, health experts say adults may not realize they’re supposed to be getting regular shots, too. (via MSNBC)

Math Makes Girls More Anxious Than Boys
A new English study has found that girls suffer from mathematics anxiety more than boys, confirming some previous research. The analysis also found that high math anxiety was a stronger predictor of poor test performance for girls than boys. (via Live Science)

HPV Vaccine Benefits Even Women Who Don’t Get the Shots
The human papillomavirus vaccine provides a benefit to women even if they are not vaccinated, via a phenomenon known as herd immunity, a new study suggests. Among the women in the study, there was a decrease in the percentage who were infected with the four HPV strains included in the vaccine (HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18) in the years after the vaccine was introduced, compared with earlier years. (via MSNBC)

Facebook Use Leads to Depression? No, Says Study
A study of university students is the first evidence to refute the supposed link between depression and the amount of time spent on Facebook and other social-media sites. (via Science Daily)

Sit Less Than 3 Hours a Day, Add 2 Years to Your Life, Study Says
Reducing the daily average time that people spend sitting to less than three hours would increase the U.S. life expectancy by two years, the study found. And reducing the time spent watching TV to less than 2 hours daily would increase life expectancy by 1.4 years. (via MSNBC)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Smoking and Drinking May Not Harm Male Fertility
Researchers at the University of Manchester and the University of Sheffield in the U.K. say that doctors might want to reconsider their advice to infertile men given the new findings: if infertile couples are delaying fertility treatments in order to try ineffective lifestyle changes first, it may waste valuable time and fail to help them conceive. (via TIME)

Same-Sex Parents Sue Over North Carolina Adoption Law
A civil liberties group filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday challenging North Carolina’s prohibition against same-sex couples adopting each other’s children. (via Reuters)

Forced Abortion Sparks Outrage, Debate in China
Nationwide outrage continued to grow Thursday in China over a late-term abortion forced upon a woman by local family planning officials, even as authorities pledged to punish those responsible. (via CNN)

10-Year-Old Girl Gets a New Vein Made from Her Stem Cells
For the first time doctors have successfully transplanted a vein grown with a patient’s own stem cells, another example of scientists producing human body parts in the lab. (via TIME)

Childhood Obesity Affects Math Performance
Childhood obesity affects math performance in school, along with child’s social skills and well being, according to a new study published in the journal Child Development. (via ABC News)

90 Percent of Chicago Teachers Authorize Strike
Teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district voted overwhelmingly to authorize the first strike in 25 years if their union and the city cannot reach a deal on a contract this summer — signaling just how badly the relationship between teachers and Chicago school officials has deteriorated, union officials said Monday. (via AP)

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PBS Labs Offers Edutaining Games, Activities, Apps, and More

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

PBS KIDS Lab logoThere’s no doubt PBS KIDS is great at entertaining and educating (“edutaining”) young children, and they are continuing to boost children’s development with (free!) new games, activities, and mobile apps at PBS KIDS Lab (www.pbskids.org/lab).

Launched at the end of last year, PBS KIDS Lab seeks to blend the latest technology with 50 games to encourage children’s math skills (numbers, counting, addition, subtraction).  Games are related to popular PBS KIDS shows such as Curious George, The Cat in the Hat, Sid the Science Kid, etc., and further categorized by skills, age (3-5, 6-8), and device. Recently, a Spanish version of PBS Labs was launched (pbskids.org/lab/es), along with new resources and tools for teachers and parents to make learning fun inside and outside the classroom.

What I love best about PBS Labs are the mobile apps (pbskids.org/mobile) associated with some of the games, in particular Fetch! Lunch Rush with Ruff Ruffman. This unique game uses augmented reality, an extension of virtual reality, where objects in the real world (in this case, printout sheets) are recognized by the downloaded mobile app and integrated into the game.  By downloading the app onto an iPad and placing it in front of the printout sheets, kids must figure out how much sushi to order for Ruff’s crew.

But you don’t need an iPhone or iPad to help your kids become math whizzes.  PBS KIDS also offers these simple but fun ways to get kids to love numbers:

  1. When driving in the car, count the trees as you pass by.
  2. Call out street signs and identify their shapes.
  3. Count aloud the seconds it takes for a child to brush his/her teeth.
  4. Cook with the kids; count ingredients.
  5. Play grocery store with household items. Count out the change.

Happy counting!

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2012 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy: Nominate a Teacher Today

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

phil-mickelson-academyAs your kid navigates new classes, think about choosing one outstanding elementary school teacher to attend the 2012 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, a one week-long, all-expense paid summer program for professional development in math and science.  The academy was founded by PGA golfer Phil Mickelson, his wife Amy, and the oil and gas company ExxonMobil.  The program was developed by the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions.

Every summer, about 100-200 elementary school teachers from around the nation are picked to “go back to school” and learn new, exciting ways to teach kids math and science.  The five-day curriculum was put together by Math Solutions Professional Development and the National Science Teachers Association, and it includes activities, demonstrations, and experiments to help educators motivate their students to love math and science.  The program is open to third to fifth grade teachers. Watch YouTube videos of teachers talking about participating in past programs.

Parents and students can go to SendMyTeacher.com to nominate a teacher for the 2012 program or teachers can also nominate themselves.  The deadline is October 31, 2011.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Minority babies almost the majority
White infants are on the verge of being displaced as the majority of newborns now that nearly half of babies in the USA are ethnic and racial minorities.

Marriage, divorce rates higher in the South, lower in Northeast
Where you live may influence your attitudes and actions toward marriage and divorce more than you think, suggests a federal report out today that gives the clearest picture in 20 years about the evolution of marriage and divorce across the USA.

How to Fix Our Math Education
There is widespread alarm in the United States about the state of our math education. All this worry, however, is based on the assumption that there is a single established body of mathematical skills that everyone needs to know to be prepared for 21st-century careers

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Are Toddlers Too Young to Get Tutors?

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

KumonAs more parents worry about how their growing toddlers will survive the educational system once they enter school, they’re enrolling  kids in after-school tutoring and learning centers such as KumonThe New York Times recently wrote an in-depth profile on how Kumon is becoming parents’ defense against a changing educational landscape that focuses more on studying, memorizing, and taking standardized tests for reading, writing, and math. 

Originally started in Japan during the 1950s for school-age kids, Kumon has expanded in the U.S. since 1974, where it grew in popularity among mostly Asian students. Now, kids of all ages and ethnicities enroll in Kumon to help them get a leg up on school work and studies.  In recent years, a Junior Kumon program was created to enroll children ages 3 to 5, though toddlers as young as 2 are welcome.   Junior Kumon lessons cost about $200-300 per month, and toddlers and preschoolers are tutored twice a week for one hour each.

Some parents see Kumon as a necessary means to building their children’s self-confidence and academic skills; a way to give them the means necessary to advance later in life.  (In addition to starting them in sports classes or having them read chapter books.) Others, particularly child experts and educators, aren’t convinced programs like Kumon are enriching experiences that will help kids become innovative, vibrant, curious thinkers; instead, it only stresses memorization, repetition, and a linear way of thinking.

When I was around 7 or 8 years old, I remember weekend afternoons at my local Kumon, huddled around tables working on addition, subtraction, multiplication, and long division on numerous worksheets.  I remember storing my worksheets and multiplication charts in plastic pouches Kumon provided us.  At that time, Kumon only focused on math, not reading.  Of course, as a kid, I didn’t enjoy working on endless math sheets.  And ironically, despite all the math lessons, I grew up to work in a field that focuses just on reading and writing. 

This doesn’t mean there isn’t intrinsic value in enrolling kids in Kumon, though 2 years old may be a bit too young.  There are still other ways to teach kids how to achieve their truest potential, as the Tiger Mother debate has illustrated.  But, then again, who knows where I would be now if I had enrolled at 2 years old?

Would you enroll your kid in enrichment programs like Kumon?  Are toddlers ready for the pressure to succeed?

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Daily News Roundup

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Goody Blog Daily News RoundupObesity rate to reach 42 percent, experts predict: Obesity in America won’t plateau until 42 percent of adults are obese, according to a new study. [MSNBC]

23,000 Britax car seats recalled: Britax is recalling about 23,000 infant car seats due to faulty harness clips. [Parents]

Sad news: Happy Meal ban won’t stop kid obesity: The decision of San Francisco city officials Tuesday to crack down on restaurant meals that include free toys unless they meet particular nutritional guidelines is — depending on whom you ask — either taking away a parents’ right to choose what to feed their children, as some msnbc.com readers have commented, or a gift to frazzled parents up against a massive marketing machine. What it most likely isn’t, however, is a solution to the childhood obesity epidemic. [MSNBC]

Dancing school gives children a taste of the elite: The pair are among the latest generation of children engaged in an antiquated rite: dancing school, a tradition upheld by a small number of families from the upper, and now upper-middle, echelons of New York. [New York Times]

Zapping a brain for math’s sake, and other news: Don’t try this at home, but researchers at the University of Oxford say applying an electrical current to the head can improve mathematical ability, depending on the direction of the current, the BBC reports. If you’ve been pregnant, you may have experienced memory loss during that time that some call “baby brain.” In turns out the brain may temporarily shrink up to 8 percent in pregnant women, and then restore to its original size after the child is born – check it out from CBS New York. [Paging Dr. Gupta/CNN]

Disney junior to focus on social values: Move aside, Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer. Mothers want preschool television to be more about teaching children social skills and less about pushing clear academic goals — at least that’s what Disney executives say new internal research indicates. [New York Times]

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