For many kids (and some caregivers), winter break feels like a welcome relief from classroom math. Trading homework about fractions for baking holiday cookies (and unwittingly using fractions anyway) might be a treat, but before we know it, the holiday season will be a distant memory. However, there were some important findings about children and mathematics that were reported in 2018, ones that hopefully won’t be forgotten long after we ring in the New Year. Here’s a snapshot.
A comprehension strategy for helping English learners tackle word problems
In United States schools, English learners are the fastest-growing minority, a news release notes. When these students encounter word problems, the biggest hurdle to arriving at correct answers isn’t always the math itself — sometimes the challenge comes with processing the English words used in the problem.
Here’s a sample word problem posed by the study’s authors: “Esmeralda was shopping at the mall. She visited four different stores. She bought a new pair of shoes and a new purse. She spent a total of US$45. The purse cost US$10. How much money did Esmeralda spend on a new pair of shoes?” Some English learners might struggle to process certain information in that problem, such as the meaning of the words “spent” and “pair.”
“They would need this background knowledge to deduce that the number of stores visited does not influence the answer,” the news release notes.
In this study, teachers and students were given a game plan: First, teachers re-stated questions and worked with students to help them determine what the word problems were about. The teacher-student teams identified which information was important and which information could be ignored for the sake of solving the problem at hand. (For instance, in the above problem, the number of stores Esmeralda visited is irrelevant.) Pairs of students then worked together to apply the tactics they had learned. Finally, students independently applied these strategies to new word problems.
“Pre- and post-testing showed statistically significant improvement in students’ calculation accuracy, word-problem accuracy and reading comprehension,” the news release notes.
Greater schoolyard tree cover correlated with higher math performance in high-poverty urban schools
This is according to a study of the relationship between greenness and academic performance in 318 of Chicago’s public elementary schools. In that district, the majority of students come from a low-income minority background. For instance, 87 percent of third-graders qualified for free lunch in the 2009-2010 school year, which is when the study was conducted, according to a news release.
“The most disadvantaged schools in the sample had roughly half the number of trees as the least disadvantaged schools,” the news release notes.
Doing specific math activities at home can boost young children’s numeracy
Belgian researchers assessed the performance of 128 kindergarten-aged children on symbolic and non-symbolic numerical tasks, a news release notes. They later asked parents how frequently they had done certain at-home math activities with their kids.
“We found that the more parents engaged in activities such as identifying numerals, sorting objects by size, color, or shape, or learning simple sums, the higher the children performed on skills like counting,” lead study author Belde Mutaf-Yildiz stated in the news release. Other helpful activities included involving kids in shopping-related money discussions or measuring ingredients for cooking or baking.
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For lots of kids( and some caretakers), winter season break seems like a welcome remedy for class mathematics. Trading research about portions for baking vacation cookies (and unsuspectingly utilizing portions anyhow) may be a reward, however prior to we understand it, the holiday will be a far-off memory. Nevertheless, there were some essential findings about kids and mathematics that were reported in 2018, ones that ideally will not be forgotten long after we call in the New Year. Here’s a picture.
An understanding method for assisting English students take on word issues
In United States schools, English students are the fastest-growing minority, a press release notes. When these trainees experience word issues, the greatest difficulty to coming to right responses isn’t constantly the mathematics itself– in some cases the difficulty includes processing the English words utilized in the issue.
Here’s a sample word issue postured by the research study’s authors: “ Esmeralda was patronizing the shopping center. She checked out 4 various shops. She purchased a brand-new set of shoes and a brand-new bag. She invested an overall of US$45 The bag expense US$10 Just how much loan did Esmeralda invest in a brand-new set of shoes?” Some English students may have a hard time to process particular info because issue, such as the significance of the words “invested” and “set.”
” They would require this background understanding to deduce that the variety of shops checked out does not affect the response,” the press release notes.
In this research study, instructors and trainees were provided a tactical plan: First, instructors re-stated concerns and dealt with trainees to assist them identify what the word issues had to do with. The teacher-student groups determined which info was necessary and which info might be overlooked for the sake of resolving the issue at hand. (For example, in the above issue, the variety of shops Esmeralda checked out is unimportant.) Sets of trainees then interacted to use the methods they had actually discovered. Lastly, trainees individually used these techniques to brand-new word issues.
“ Pre- and post-testing revealed statistically substantial enhancement in trainees’ computation precision, word-problem precision and reading understanding,” the press release notes.
Greater schoolyard tree cover associated with greater mathematics efficiency in high-poverty city schools