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Florida Adopts New Math Standards or Grades K-12
On September 18, 2007 Florida's State Board of Education adopted a newly revised
set of mathematics standards. These new standards are considered
"world-class" because they have incorporated ideas from successful math
programs around the globe. The standards of Finland and Singapore, two
of the highest performers in math based on international testing, were
examined and integrated into Florida's new standards.
help revise the standards, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE)
sought information and advice from international and national experts
in math fields and from experts on the development of educational
standards. Feedback from Florida teachers, school administrators,
curriculum specialists and parents was also taken into consideration
and helped shape these new standards.
new Florida math standards are a blueprint for how math will be taught
from kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12). The old standards were
considered vague and have been replaced with clarity, coherence and
minimal redundancy. The new standards provide specific detailed
information on what should be learned at every grade level and what
should be learned for each major math subject area in high school.
Clark with the FDOE believes the new standards will have a major impact
for K - 12 mathematics teaching and learning in Florida.
"Providing clear content standards that give our math teachers more
time to teach to mastery and enable conceptual understanding for a
smaller number of important concepts at each grade level is a major
paradigm shift. Our biggest challenge now is getting the word out
and helping teachers realize that more time is available for helping
students move from concrete examples to diagrams and models and to
general algorithms and abstract representations. This is not just
'covering' math skills anymore. This is not just more time for
practice," he stated.
new standards are now organized by grade level for grades K-8, and the
number of benchmarks have been reduced for these grades. K-8 had
average of 80 benchmarks per grade and now has less than 20 per grade.
The reduced number of benchmarks allows teachers more time to develop
creative ways to teach and students more time to master content. The
lower numbers of benchmarks also encourage teachers to provide more
grades 9-12 the standards have been organized into bodies of knowledge
instead of grade levels. The bodies of knowledge include: algebra;
geometry; calculus; discrete math; and trigonometry. And, for the
first time in Florida history, financial literacy standards have also
The new standards have been implemented to help improve Florida's math performance. Currently about half
of high school graduates enrolled in Florida community
colleges have to take remedial math. The revised
standards aim to reduce this number and help students prepare for
the increasingly high-tech workplace.
and students can look forward to the new Florida math
standards being taught beginning in the 2008-2009 school year and
will be tested as part of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test
(FCAT) math section starting in the 2010-11 school year. For more
information, Click Here!
High-Achieving Students from Lower-Income Families are Stuck in a Rut
Recent studies have concluded that even though the education community is
on bringing all students to academic proficiency, there is a risk of
leaving behind a group of kids with tremendous potential. This group is
very ambitious, but there is a great possibility that they are being
forgotten. The children from lower income families who don't have the
resources to further their education are being left in the dust when it
comes to a higher education. Civic Enterprises LLC, a Washington-based
research and public-policy group, and the Lansdowne, Va. based Jack
Kent Cooke Foundation were the pioneers in encouraging researchers and
policymakers to better understand why high-achieving, lower income
children fall behind, and second, how to offer more help for these
children to succeed.
A specific test called "Achievement Trap"
analyzed children who were from families with incomes below the
national median, but who also scored in the top quarter on standardized
tests. The findings were that these children begin school with weaker
academic skills which in-turn makes it difficult for them to grow in
their studies versus their peers from families who have higher incomes.
addition to inhibiting these students to further their education,
students from lower income families are more likely to drop out of high
school therefore creating a wider spread of students who don't attend
college. The differences are drastic between the students who are from
economically fortunate families and those from the lower income
not everything is bad news. 93% of the higher-achieving students from
lower income families graduate from high school in four years. This
goes against the 97% of high school graduates that complete it in four
years that are from higher income families.
There are many recommendations that involve numerous
aspects that we, as educators, parents, and students, should pay more
attention to. For one, educators, researchers, and policymakers must
understand why this is happening to their students. Also, federal,
state, and local education officials should provide certain incentives
and policies that would enhance the proficiency standards.
Educators should also promote higher education to the
lower-income children to motivate them to want to be active in
school. For more information, Click Here!
The Power of Greenovation
Schools around the nation are jumping on the environmental bandwagon and "going green," as they say. By reducing waste and conserving energy, students and teachers can now do their part to help preserve the environment while incorporating science, math and engineering principles along the way.
provides many ways to make a school environmentally friendly. At the
University of Florida, even the roofs are "going green." UF Students have created a rooftop garden on top of one of their
amphitheaters. The green roof helps absorb storm water runoff, reduces
energy use and provides wildlife habitat. Though it may seem too
expensive for many schools, green roofs absorb enough sunlight to
substantially reduce the expense of air conditioning. "Going green"
doesn't have to be a huge undertaking. There are small steps every
school can take towards Greenovation.
of the easiest and most effective ways for schools to start "going
green" is to reduce waste. Since most of the waste generated in
classrooms is paper, placing a recycling bin in each classroom is a
simple solution to this problem.
Teachers can also do
their part to reduce waste by conserving paper. When making copies
teachers should keep in mind that both sides of the paper can and should be used. Also, using more email and electronic forms of communications is not only convenient, it saves paper as well.
and homes in all areas have the potential to jump on the
environmental bandwagon. For more information about how your
school or your home can "go green" Click Here!
To visit GGIT! please click here
If you would like to forward this newsletter to a friend, Click Here!
How to Survive and Thrive in Middle School Math!
Actress Danica McKellar wants girls to know that numbers aren't nerdy anymore!
Actress, mathematician, and now writer,
Danica McKellar, best know for her role as Winnie Cooper on the 90's
hit series "The Wonder Years", has just penned the math help book "Math
Doesn't Suck". The book features approaches to math problems through
ways girls can relate to. Whether it is how many more lip glosses
you have than your friend or how much money you have left to spend at
went through periods of both struggling and excelling in math
throughout her education and ultimately decided she loved it so much in
college, she made it her major. After graduating with honors in the
late 90's, she soon became the first and only television actress
to coauthor a groundbreaking mathematical physics theorem. It was
published in the Journal of Physics and even bears her name!
says her reasons for publishing a book of her own are due to those
tricky middle school years when the math work started getting harder.
She got past it, and now wants to share her helpful hints and tips with
young girls who are in the same situation. The book is not only jam
packed with great ways to understand the subject, but also true life
stories of other "cool" women in math, fun quizzes, and links to great
tutoring websites. To find out more about this book, which recently
made the Los Angeles Best Seller List, Click Here!
appeared on the National Public Radio's (NPR's) Talk of the Nation:
Science Friday program with the President of Harvey Mudd, Maria Klawe
to discuss women and mathematics. To listen to the podcast, Click Here!
Apple's Lineup of iPods Get Makeovers and Add a New Touch-Screen Version to The Family.
Apple's revamped family of iPods are sure to top Christmas lists this holiday
season and what you will find under the tree will truly be quite
impressive. The newly reintroduced gadgets feature larger screens,
smaller widths, and fresh new colors that are sure to make a big splash
with iPod lovers everywhere.
at just $79, you can wear a badge of musical devotion with the clip on
iPod Shuffle, letting you accessorize any outfit with up to 240 songs.
The iPod Nano, the best-selling iPod to date, now lets you enjoy TV
shows, movies, video podcasts, and more on a larger, brighter display
screen. Both the shuffle and Nano are available in 5 refreshing colors:
turquoise blue, sea foam green, periwinkle, the original silver, and
the RED shade, which supports the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.
next step up following Nano is the original iPod, which Apple renamed
the iPod Classic. The Classic has a new, sleek look and a version which
features up to 160 gigabytes of storage!
newest and most exciting feature of the lineup is the iPod Touch. This
revolutionary edition to the iPod family is identical to the iPhone,
minus the telephone capability.
You can find out more about any of the newly refurbished models and even take a tour of the new touch model at their website. Click Here!
Florida STEM Program Directory- Register your Program Today!
online Florida STEM Program Directory lists organizations and programs
that focus on motivating girls to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The purpose of the directory is to help organizations and individuals
network, share resources and collaborate on STEM-related projects for
Organizations that serve young women and are
interested in bringing more STEM resources to them are also
encouraged to sign up!
Directory contains program descriptions, resources available within
each organization, program and/or organization needs, and contact
information. What better way to promote your program, resources and find other organizations in your area to collaborate with?
Having Your Program Listed in the Directory Has Several Advantages:
- Anyone with internet access can find out about your program.
You can view other programs in your area and across the state.
Your organization can do a search and compare needs and resources in your area and across the state.
- Your organization is eligible for a mini-grant for innovative projects.
Don't wait - Sign up today! Here's How:
Use the following instructions to create a new user account and then enter a program's information into the NGCP program directory.
- Click Here!!
Click "Register New User" which is located on the far left.
Fill out the form and click "Submit"
On the next page, click "New Program"
- Fill out the form and click "Submit"
That's it! Your program will be listed and can be searched by anyone with access to the internet. It's that easy!
Once a new program's information has been submitted and approved, it will appear in the public Directory for anyone to search.
What better way to highlight the great work in STEM that you are doing in your community!
Note:In order to be eligible for mini-grant funding, your program MUST be listed in the Program Directory. Once listed, you are encouraged to submit a proposal for consideration of funding. For mini-grant submission guidelines, Click Here!
FSU'S Flying Circus of Physics
No elephants and acrobats here but lots of other just as exciting acts!
physics department at Florida State University recently put on their
bi-yearly Flying Circus of Physics. The event aims to prove to children
of all ages that physics is Fun! With hands-on
science, multimedia events, demonstrations, a planetarium presentation
and a paper airplane contest, kids from around the
area experienced the exciting side of physics earlier this month.
Circus of Physics featured science demonstrations that have been
proven popular with kids. "The Physics of Sports" exhibited the science
behind popular sporting events, while a planetarium show revealed many
mysteries of the universe. Hands-on demonstrations allowed children to
experience strange and stimulating physical phenomena while answering
the hundreds of "why?" questions that inevitably resulted.
activities included tours and even a paper airplane folding and flying
contest that entertained children and adults alike. For more
information, Click Here!
|What is Girls Get IT?
Girls Get IT is a partnership between Florida Distance Learning
Consortium, Cisco Systems, Inc., Florida's Community College and
University system to create gender equity in the areas of Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) & Information
Why does Florida need this initiative?
remain competitive, Florida must offer a highly trained workforce.
Nearly 75% of future jobs in the United States will require the use of
technology, yet fewer than 33% of students in computer courses are
female and women comprise only 20% of IT professionals and 13% of
Contact: Leah Cook, Project Director