"Many people find mathematics daunting. If true, this piece is for you. If not, this piece is still for you.
What do you think of when you think about mathematics? Perhaps you think about x's and y's, intractable fractions, or nonsensical word problems. The cartoonist Gary Larson once depicted hell's library as containing only giant tomes of word problems. You know, "If a train leaves New York…"
I was trained as a mathematician, and I will let you in on a trade secret: That is not what mathematics is, nor where it lives. It's true that learning mathematics often involves solving problems, but it should focus on the joy of solving puzzles, rather than memorizing rules.
I invite you to see yourself as a problem solver and mathematician. And I'd like to introduce you to the man who once invited me to the study of problem solving: George Pólya."
"Losing your job to robots is no longer a sci-fi fantasy.
Some estimates say, robots may take over more than five million jobs across 15 developed countries. Machines could account for more than half the workforce in places like Cambodia and Indonesia, particularly in the garment industry.
While such information has led many people to seek out higher-tech skills, others have said we need a stronger emphasis on trade skills to combat the high competition in tech fields. In one 2016 survey, 60 percent of respondents wanted more emphasis on Shop classes in high schools, while a 2015 Gallup poll found that 90 percent of parents want computer sciences emphasized in schools.
The good news. There are some skills robots can't embody, and if you have them, there's no need to worry about losing your job due to robotic advancements. Better yet, many of them are transferrable, meaning they can help you advance your career, even if you need to change industries.
Here are eight skills that can keep your job from being handed off to a robot."
"n the rush to cover standards and ensure students have learned the concepts they will need in the future, it's easy to lose sight of how fun math can be. These three TED-Ed videos offer fun, challenging riddles that can also be explicitly connected to mathematical concepts. The "Prisoner Box" problem is essentially a loop and could be a high-interest way to dive into this topic."
"As the world economy shifts away from manufacturing jobs and towards service industry and creative jobs, there's a consensus among parents, educators, politicians and business leaders that it is crucial students graduate into university or the workforce with the ability to identify and solve complex problems, think critically about information, work effectively in teams and communicate clearly about their thinking.
While many teachers agree with this premise, they don't often know exactly how to teach these skills explicitly, especially because many of the mandates and required curriculum seem to push in the opposite direction. Process-oriented skills are hard to pin down; teachers can see them in certain students, but developing these competencies in students who aren't already demonstrating them can be tricky. A few teachers in Ontario, Canada have been experimenting with tools they think could make the difference."
"Looking for some fun and engaging ways to have kindergarten kids participate in problem solving (and creating), I turned to my trusty friend, Lego. Like many division one teachers, I use Lego often because it has so many applications. But as the 2014-15 school year came to a close, I was looking for a challenge. So, what I did was created a maze with Lego that a marble would travel to and showed this to the kids. I then challenged the kids to make a maze that would fit the marble (there had to be three empty spaces for width at all times)."
"If we are to be completely honest with ourselves, the concept or theory behind computer science in the curriculum is not new, well not within Early Years Education. If we stop and think for a minute, what is happening when we code? We end up with - Problem Solving. Plain and simple……Computer programmers, computer scientists……solve problem!
Our young learners spend every day solving and overcoming problems and obstacles. As educators, we set up scenarios, we pose problems and we guide the children towards finding strategies. These challenges are often in Maths and Science lessons but we sometimes see them in Physical Education and language classes too. We always strive to relate these problem solving skills to contexts, it makes sense if children can relate to real life scenarios.
"I believe that problem solving is one of the most important skills that our students can acquire in our classrooms today. In a recent post, entitled "Problem Solving with 'Aunt Emma'", I described an engaging activity which helps students look at problems from a variety of different perspectives. Today, I want to share with you a similar problem solving classroom activity that you can use to challenge your students to think laterally."
"I am aware that the computer science aspects of the new computing curriculum creates extra work for some teachers as they need to learn many unfamiliar concepts. I know this can be challenging and time consuming, but I think we are very fortunate because there is a vast range of free programming environments /apps available for teachers to use for teaching computer science elements to children. What we need to remember is that the program itself doesn't just make children develop computational thinking, the context we use, the pedagogical approach we employ shapes the learning experience of our students.
On the next page I have shared a simple activity which can be used as a main task or as an assessment task at the end of a coding session. The aim is to support children to design solutions for a specific purpose by selecting and using correct blocks in a sequence. These activities can encourage them to think in logical steps which is the main foundation of problem solving skills and at the same time provide opportunities for peer or whole class discussions."
"arlier, I wrote about four activities teachers and school leaders can use to jump-start creative problem-solving in teams. Given the increased pressure on educators to innovate, the goals for each activity were to build or deepen skills associated with that work. Readers expressed particular interest in one of these activities, so I wanted to do a deep dive and provide additional information.
This activity grew out of my work with teachers and school leaders to identify effective solutions to school problems. Over time, I became curious about how schools might make pain points visible, in order to tap into educators' collective wisdom to solve them. I wondered, too, if we could structure this problem-solving in such a way that everyone's voice would be heard. Finally, I wondered if there might be a way to make it a fun and creative game. That's where a set of index cards comes in."
Website has 3 sections: Math Playground - an action-packed site for elementary and middle school students. Practice your math skills, play a logic game and have some fun! Math TV Problem Solving Videos - Each math problems comes with step by step video solution, follow up problems, an online calculator, and sketch pad. Thinking Blocks - interactive math tool developed by classroom teachers to help students learn how to solve multistep word problems.