JiJi’s recent stay in New Orleans wasn’t all about gumbo and jazz. Known as the beloved penguin in the ST Math software games, JiJi also took time to meet new friends as part of the MIND Research Institute entourage at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Annual Meeting. Along with MIND Research Staff, JiJi got a chance to introduce ST Math to NCTM attendees — and to showcase MIND’s new middle and high school curricula.
After the conference, JiJi’s travel companions from MIND reviewed their visit to NOLA, where they met with teachers and administrators at the largest gathering of mathematics educators in North America. Following are the top six things JiJi learned in the Big Easy:
- Teachers are hungry for tools to enhance their teaching experience. They are receptive to technology being in the classroom and are eager to learn about their options.
- Secondary educators who already know ST Math were thrilled about the new programs for middle and high school students.
- Teachers and administrators were very focused on the impacts Practice Standards have on instruction. When seeing ST Math for the first time, many were keenly aware of how the design actively engages students in making sense and persevering as they develop problem solving and conceptual schemas in grade level mathematics.
- Educators are seeking additional professional learning opportunities to help them understand the shifts occurring in math education as their states migrate to new math standards.
- Students’ experiences with ST Math can change the minds of even staunch opponents. MIND staffers met a conference participant whose daughter, a teacher and parent, had voted against her district’s adoption of ST Math. She has since had a change of heart, and her own two children love the program.
- The spirit of exploration that comes alive in ST Math students can also be encouraged in adults.
Did you attend the 2014 NCTM Conference? If so, share your own take-aways by posting a comment below.
MIND Research staff members Cass Evans, Grace Gonzalez, Tim Lum, Tanya Phillips, Brandon Smith and Erich Zeller contributed to this blog post.