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MIND Blog Rewind: October 2019

Each month on the MIND blog, we share stories of how our organization, our partners, and educators across the country are advancing the mission to mathematically equip all students to solve the world’s most challenging problems. We also share resources for educators and students, and cover some of the exciting events we take part in across the country.

Sometimes it feels like we're moving and evolving just as fast as the leaves in autumn, and we want to make sure that you don't miss any of it. Welcome to the MIND Blog Rewind! Here is a recap of important news, content, and resources coming out of MIND and our community for October 2019.


What makes a great math leader? Calli Wright, Education Engagement Manager, asked this question to teachers, math coaches, and principals from around the country. And thankfully, they answered! We hope this compilation of tips and resources helps you wherever you are in your journey to support math education for students.

On our International Podcast day episode, Brian LeTendre welcomed MIND’s Lead Mathematician Brandon Smith back to the show, for a discussion on project-based and problem-based learning. Brandon talked about the similarities and differences between the two, and provided guidance on how to get the most out of project and problem-based learning by increasing student choice, creatively reframing problems, and adding more fun to the process. Listen to the full discussion on the Inside Our MIND podcast.

If you want to build creative capacity, you want to develop a student's desire to take risks, and to fail quickly and to iterate, and then to actually get to a point where they really complete the problem, or solve it.

-Brandon Smith, MIND Research Institute

Have you heard of the Global Math Project? Their mission is to inspire educators everywhere to ignite and sustain in their students a love for learning mathematics. The Global Math Project believes that everyone is part of the global math community, and each year Global Math Week brings teachers and students around the world together through joyful math experiences. As part of our ongoing partnership with The Global Math Project, we made more of our ST Math games available for free on our website. Play now!

We’re big fans of Halloween at MIND Research Institute. Creative members Jo and Julie Zafra created Paco Patch Halloween coloring sheets for students and adults alike to enjoy. Our example coloring sheet was completed by Genna Conrad, a Partnerships Operations Assistant at MIND. Also included in the post are fun pumpkin stencils, like Pac-o-lantern and JiJi disguised as a witch, to make your Halloween even more fun. Check out our free Halloween resources and even treat yourself to Paco Monster, a free mathematical candy game.


At MIND Research Institute, we believe that teachers, administrators, families, and communities are part of a student’s learning ecosystem, and we work to support that holistic system. Which is why we partnered with 100Kin10! We are excited to be part of this group of over 300 leading academic institutions, non-profits, foundations, companies, and government agencies. Together, we are mobilizing a national effort to prepare 100,000 STEM teachers by 2021. 

MIND Research Institute CEO Brett Woudenberg reflected on what brought him to the organization and how MIND’s mission to mathematically equip all students to solve the world’s most challenging problems holds resonance for him. His story is one of incredible perseverance, productive struggle, and lifelong learning. We’re proud to have him lead our organization. Thank you for sharing, Brett!


Today, parents and students are going a mile a minute. But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed much over the years—homework and the way that some students feel about it. Thankfully, there are best practices that you can implement to make homework an important priority and a positive experience in your household. Check out these 8 great homework tips for parents from experts (and parents) at MIND.

Online learning for children is here to stay, and it's no secret that our students need supportive adults in their lives who can challenge, mentor, and push them to meet and exceed their potential. CFO of Detroit Public Schools, Jeremy Vidito, shares tips for parents around online learning for children, that will guide you in how to best assist the students in your life.

Are you planning a family math night? Brian LeTendre, Director of Content and Communications, and Lead Mathematician Brandon Smith, explained four common missteps that can be avoided when designing family nights and provides guidance on how to provide an experience that parents and students wont forget. Listen to the podcast episode now!


Family engagement nights at school have the potential to change families’ relationships with math. Miami on a mid-October night is still warm, but south of the city, a gentle breeze made its way through the Air Base K-8 Center, where MIND's Taylor Masnjak, Brian Coffey, and Brandon Smith inspired learning through gameplay with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools community. Being able to engage families with math and games was a treat, and thankfully, Brian shared his experience.

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Jolene Haley

About the Author

Jolene Haley was the Content and Community Specialist at MIND Research Institute. In addition to creating content for MIND, she is an author, avid reader, and lover of iced coffee.


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