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Topic Archives: Math & STEM

Is Your Student Hiding a Gift?

November 28, 2017

  Do you know a kiddo who can assemble a Lego set in the blink of an eye? Tells the bus driver how to find his street? Helps you design your bulletin boards to perfection? What do these seemingly nice-to-have but not particularly useful skills have in common? They are all reflections of a student’s spatial perception. And while we might not ask students to apply spatial skills very often in school, spatial skills are essential for careers in engineering, advanced mathematics, robotics, and design. What’s more, spatial skills have a unique role in the development of creativity. Many researchers believe that superior spatial skills are the “X factor” that separates creative geniuses like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Frank Lloyd Wright from the rest of us. If spatial… Read More

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The Secret to Solving Word Problems. Hint: It’s Not about Math

November 12, 2017

Solving word problems is far more about effective reading skills and far less about math. You might be asking, then, why do so many strong readers fear solving word problems? Because, math word problems have a perception problem. Why Students Fear Solving Word Problems Solving word problems doesn’t feel like it “follows a rule” the way it does when you solve an equation. That can feel overwhelming to students who lack confidence in math. They just don’t know how to get started. The good news for your readers is that there are rules they can follow (keep reading). Better still, the thinking they need to do is quite similar to the close reading that is required of them in English class. The key is to help them see it that way…. Read More

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Mindprint Exclusive: Math Word Problem Tip Sheet

July 20, 2016

Getting started on a word problem can feel overwhelming. For some students, it’s too many words, too many numbers all at once. Use this list to help your student identify the key words that will provide important clues about which operations they will need to use. It also includes ways to identify “hidden numbers.”  

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Identify Learning Difficulties: Observation Checklist

June 28, 2016

Are you worried about your student’s grades or difficulties in school? The best way to help is to start with an accurate idea of what exactly is the problem. Use this checklist to identify it. Then click on the skill in parentheses to learn more. Once you know the underlying reason your child is struggling, use your Mindprint Toolbox to figure out exactly what to do next. Executive Functions Does she have trouble staying focused for longer tasks or those she has less interest? (attention) Is his work inconsistent or have random errors? (attention) Does he have trouble following directions? Completing multi-step tasks? (working memory) Does she have difficulty with planning? Staying organized? (working memory) Does he have over-react to transitions or unexpected… Read More

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Does Your Child Have the Skills for the World Economic Forum’s “4th Industrial Revolution”?

January 28, 2016

The World Economic Forum reported last month that over one-third of the most important workplace skills will change over the next five years. That’s an incredible rate of change. So what’s a concerned parent to do? Not panic for starters. Parents who are pleased with their own child’s school (and surveys show that 75% of parents are satisfied) need first and foremost to continue to support their children’s academic learning. However, students spend on average, only 15% of their waking hours at school. Parents need to foster the essential skills their children will need to be successful in the real world.     Top 10 Ways for Parents to Nurture the World Economic Forum’s Top 10 Skills: Know your child’s stronger and weaker skills. Keep in… Read More

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Vintage Ed Mom: Summer Math II

May 29, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Last week, we had homeschooling mom and blogger Cait Fitz, (My Little Poppies) share some great ideas for integrating math skills into your summer days with the kids at home. This week, we’re reposting a blog I did a few years ago with a math teacher who has “seen it all.” Many of her students, most of whom have learning differences, benefit from summer school, but you may find integrating math into day-to-day activities is enough to keep skills and motivation going strong. We hope you find her advice useful, and as with all things, frame it in the context of your own child’s needs. Questions for our math teacher:   1. Any thoughts you wish… Read More

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10 Creative Ways to Sharpen Summer Math Skills

May 22, 2015

Today we feature a guest blog from Cait Fitz, a school psychologist, homeschooling parent, and the voice behind the blog, My Little Poppies. We asked her to give us some pointers to make summer math fun. One year ago, we found ourselves suddenly, unexpectedly, homeschooling our eldest son. I knew it was the right path for our family, but the thought of teaching math filled me with my math anxiety of old. I’ll never forget the moment that those fears were squelched. It was Memorial Day weekend last year and we were spending the holiday at my parents’ condo in the mountains. Well, my parents’ place is on a small golf course – which had yet to open for the season- and… Read More

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Learn Something New Everyday: Cognitive March Madness

March 22, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff We’ve had an exciting week on this blog, with a team of bloggers joining me in our drive to “learn something new everyday.” Can you imagine if the energy and money that went into sports commentary were put towards educational programs, or if we had a 24-hour cable network with the pizzazz of ESPN devoted to the issues parents cope with in raising kids? In case you missed it, here’s a recap of what we’ve featured this week.   1. Benefits of Music for Children with Attention Issues This well-received post was written by Nicole Davies with follow-up commentary by a Mindprint Learning educator with years of experience teaching special education.       2. All… Read More

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Not your Typical College Day: Transform this Camaro

March 19, 2015

Kaylie Crosby is the project manager overseeing a team of 134. Using the special technology of the auto industry, VDP (Vehicle Development Process) she and her team of engineers are working on making a Chevrolet Camaro more fuel-efficient while “retaining the vehicle’s performance, safety, and consumer appeal.” Kaylie’s a fourth year student at the University of Alabama. Yes, she’s still in college. While some of the work on this multimillion-dollar project is integrated into course work, the large majority of it is in addition to her studies in the University of Alabama’s 5-year STEM path to the MBA program. I spoke with her on the phone a few days ago to learn more about what this mechanical engineer and her classmates are… Read More

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Let’s Here it for Pi

March 13, 2015

By Sarah Vander Schaaff March 14 is Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday. For a town like Princeton, it’s a particularly special moment in time with the date, 3.14.15 coinciding with the digits in the irrational, never-ending digits in pi: 3.14159…. And if there was ever a celebration of the inquisitive, intellectual, mathematical and academic, this is it. The official party in this college town (also called Einstein’s alley) is Saturday, but set your alarm clocks, folks. The party starts at 7am. It starts with a Walk a Pi Day, (yes, that’s 3.14 miles), then, there’s a Pie Eating Contest, An Einstein look a like contest; A 9.86 bike tour (3.14×3.14), but perhaps the most dramatic event takes place at 1pm… Read More

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