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STEM News Roundup: Teach Certain Math Topics Earlier, Researchers Say

Researchers from Vanderbilt University have found that "certain early math topics should get more attention than they currently do" in order to help students succeed in the subject throughout life, says Phys.org.

"Counting, calculating, and understanding written numbers already get a lot of attention from teachers and parents, for good reasons," says the leader of the study and professor of psychology and human development at Vanderbilt University Bethany Rittle-Johnson, "However, comparing quantities may merit more attention in preschool, and patterning knowledge may merit more attention in both preschool and the early elementary grades."

The researchers suggest that the Common Core Standards lack the inclusion of patterning knowledge and quantity comparison during earlier ages, ultimately not setting students up for as much success.

Overall, the researchers found that students who were exposed to these topics at an earlier age were more likely to achieve later on.

"In preschool, children's skills in patterning, comparing quantities, and counting objects were stronger predictors of their math achievement in fifth grade than other skills, the study found. By first grade, patterning remained important, and understanding written numbers and calculating emerged as important predictors of later achievement," said Phys.org.

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Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica Sells for $3.7 Million at Auction

If your students don't believe you that physics can make a lot of money, just tell them about how Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica sold for a cool $3.7 million at auction this week.

In the text, Newton’s discoveries "formed the basis of industrial breakthroughs, and helped explain or refine key astronomy concepts that we now take for granted: the elliptical orbits of planets, tidal effects and even the not-quite-spherical shape of the Earth," says Engadget.com.

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Microsoft Partners with Arkansas to Promote STEM Education

Microsoft has announced it will be financially investing in Arkansas in a first-time partnership to help the state reach its STEM education goals, including aiding its mission to provide all students with computer science education.

Microsoft and Arkansas officials signed a nonbinding agreement that creates a "digital alliance" between the two to "establish and promote Microsoft initiatives in Arkansas," says Arkansas News.

"This partnership that we are announcing today with Microsoft ... will bring in greater resources, private-sector resources, to our schools that will allow more partnerships, expand those partnerships, and ... increase the energy that we have already in Arkansas for computer science education," said Gov. Asa Hutchinson, according to the article.

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OpenEd Releases Thousands of New NGSS-Aligned Resources

OpenEd, creator of a leading online library for standards-aligned resources for K-12 teachers and an ACT Assessment Technologies company has announced the release of thousands of science-related videos and games that are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.

Most resources are free with the exception of a limited number of premium resource options.

In a month, OpenEd says they will also be showing related Common Core State Standards-aligned Math and ELA content and will be updating its library of NGSS resources to be searchable by "the DCI statements, cross cutting concepts, or science and engineering practices."

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Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

12/16/2016

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