Day: October 2, 2015

Education-themed TED talks

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Here at Core Learning we have been having a periodic Friday screening of education-themed documentaries and videos, as a means of sparking relevant conversation that can shape and ground our work. This not only brings us all together, but helps us reflect on questions like, “Why are kids in Finland so far ahead?” and “Are we really preparing our kids for the careers of tomorrow?”.

As we sift through more materials, we thought we’d share a great resource many teachers are probably familiar with: TED talks. Most educators have enjoyed these at some point in the recent past. Some of you may even be die hard fans who use them regularly in their classroom to inspire and inform.  For you superstar nerds, and the more occasional viewer, we wanted the share this link to all the  greatest Education TED talks straight from the source: https://www.ted.com/talks?topics%5B%5D=education&sort=newest

To start you off, here is a fitting talk by John Green, sharing how learning everything online… Happy viewing!

Decomposed Dad

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This was found on Twitter with the question: if you have 17 goats and 8 leave how many are left? 17-8=9 but my son was told 17-7-1 is the equation. Why?

Dear Decomposed Dad,

Thank you for your question.  This activity is designed to help students learn and practice decomposing numbers to subtract numbers within 20.  As to your question, there are two main ways someone could know 17-8 is 9 they could: 1) have it dutifully memorized, 2) actually be decomposing the numbers in their head so fast they don’t realize it.  The activity helps with the latter way of knowing.  Our new Common Core math standards downplay straight memorization of facts in favor of having the skills to figure it out and then memorizing for convenience sake.  This takes mathematics out of its current role in many student’s (and parent’s) eyes as “a list of disparate things they have to memorize” and toward “a logical sequence of connected ideas.”

For this problem, at this grade level, students are showing fluency with numbers by decomposing.  In the first example they take the 13-5 and decompose it into an expression leading to ten, i.e. 13 – 5 = 13 – 3 – 2 = 10 – 2 = 8.  The ten frames above the problem are showing the student what to do.  First make a ten, then take the rest from ten.  This builds on their work in kindergarten breaking numbers within 10 apart and putting them back together again and builds towards their understanding of place value.

To answer your question, the expressions are mathematically equivalent:

17 – 8 = 17 – 7 – 1 = 9

The reason the 17 – 7 – 1 is the answer for this question is because 17 – 7 makes a ten and then 10 – 1 is 9.

I hope this helps you regain your composure,

Jim Town – Mathematics Specialist at ACOE Core Learning


Need more Common Core Math help?  Visit our Common Core Math Help page and get your answers today!

Mystery Skype: Give Your Students the World

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Last week, we blogged about Skype’s cutting-edge new service, Translator, which allows users to speak in their native language to others, who see and hear a translation in their own language.  We ended the blog with the following question:

As an educator, how could you use this new service with your students?

Mystery Skype answers that question. On this website, classes from around the world can connect with each other to play “Mystery Skype,” an educational game wherein each class tries to ascertain the location of another class through a series of questions.

In addition to playing this game, Mystery Skype’s page contains the bios of teachers who are signed up.  These bios contain information about the student age groups the educators serve, as well as upcoming project ideas they would like to work on in partnership with other teachers/classes.

-Maria Vlahiotis, Literacy Specialist, ACOE Core Learning

Core Learning Professional Development Brochure

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In case you were wondering about upcoming Core Learning workshops and trainings, we have uploaded an e-book version of our brochure:

If you have any suggestions for future PD that you don’t see listed here, or would like to see again, please contact us and we will take your feedback into consideration as we plan for future sessions.

To register for any of our upcoming PDs click here.  You can also register on the Eventbrite calendar on the sidebar of this blog.