Initiative Focusing on Executive-Function Skills to Boost Math Teaching
The EF+Math Program is focusing on improving the way students learn math. The effort, funded by NewSchools Venture Fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, aims to create strategies that develop students’ executive-function skills and boost math outcomes. The EF+Math Program supports bold approaches through inclusive discovery and development to dramatically increase math outcomes for students in grades 3–8, especially those students who have traditionally been underserved. The focus is on the foundational skills necessary for learning—executive functions, allowing students to have agency over their attention, emotions, and behavior to achieve their goals.
Plus: The Designing for Use Track taps the expertise of educators and puts them at the core of EF+Math Program’s work as thought partners. Through this track, educators and prototyping teams will work together to co-design adaptable solutions that build on learners’ assets and integrate with existing classroom practices. The Designing for Use Track incorporates two groups of educators: the Educator Leadership Council and District Co-Design Partners. The organization is currently accepting applications for the Educator Leadership Council. Applications will close on September 19; those selected will be notified in November 2019. School or district leaders who are interested in applying for a co-design partnership can provide their information to receive updates. The application period opened on September 12, 2019, and will close on October 10, 2019. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and districts will be selected and notified in November 2019.
The Noetic Learning Math Contest is a semiannual problem-solving competition for elementary and middle school students. The goal of the competition is to encourage students’ interest in math, to develop their problem-solving skills, and to inspire students to excel in math.
Calculus in Virtual Reality (CalcVR), an app for iOS, uses a Google Cardboard headset to enable the user to visualize concepts in multivariable calculus within a virtual reality setting. Users can specify their own objects for visualization, as well as go through lessons on the geometry and calculus of multivariable functions and the corresponding surfaces.
The Museum of Science, Boston, develops exhibits, programs, and curricula that empower children to become lifelong STEM learners and passionate problem solvers. The museum offers seven engineering curricula (preK–12): “We Engineer,” “EiE for Kindergarten,” “Engineering is Elementary,” “Engineering Adventures,” “Engineering Everywhere,” “Building Math,” and “Engineering the Future.