(April 18, 2011) Mathematics literacy is essential for any child to be prepared for the future. Many understand that we cannot reserve higher math for a select few. Paula Martin Johnson, M.A., an IDRA education associate, says that in order to launch today’s student into the expanding digital generation, math curriculum must adopt a new format and method of delivery for instruction. In this podcast episode, she describes how to connect math to students’ reality and the importance of keeping them engaged in their learning. She expands on her article in the April 2011 issue of the IDRA Newsletter where she describes a preferred approach that pursues an enriching “inch wide, mile deep” philosophy, giving students with the needed time to be introduced to, process and apply new concepts. Paula interviewed by Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center. Send comments to
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Video demonstrations of math topics with printable worksheets
* Paula explains why math needs to be introduced to students at an early age.
* Paula describes how to give students an "aha moment" by connecting the abstract concepts of math with real-world examples and "something they can touch."
* Paula talks about working with math teachers to overcome their "fear of change."
* Paula notes the importance of "stepping away from a formula" in math instruction when necessary.
* Paula explains how parents can get involved in supporting their children's math studies, including making use of free online resources.
* Paula recounts her own turning point as a teacher, when she realized her students didn't think about math the same way that she did. It was still her responsibility to "dig for it" and to find new ways to teach the material.
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