Weekly news and notes from Head of School Marie Dugan
WHO SAYS MATH HAS TO BE BORING?
This week, the New York Times began a series on math and science education. In this week's article, Who Says Math Has to Be Boring?, the NYT editorial board discusses the rapid increase in jobs related to science, technology, engineering and math (known collectively as STEM) while the number of college students who choose to pursue STEM-related careers is decreasing. The key to increasing the qualified workforce in these fields is engaging students at a young age:
A new study, by researchers at the University of Missouri, showed that the most important factor that predicted math success in middle school and upward was an understanding of what numbers are before entering the first grade. Having "number system knowledge" in kindergarten or earlier - grasping that a numeral represents a quantity, and understanding the relationships among numbers - was a more important factor in math success by seventh grade than intelligence, race or income. Full Article
Montessori math materials engage students in hands-on learning, beginning with concrete examples of mathematical principles and eventually becoming more abstract as children move through their elementary years. Once again, current research confirms what Montessorians have known for more than a century!
CHANGES IN THE WEDNESDAY WEEKLY
You will notice some changes in the format of the WW, beginning today. We have been working with a marketing consultant who has made some suggestions about our weekly publication and how we can make it more readable and engaging. Please share your feedback!
LUNCH WITH SIXTH-GRADERS
It is always a pleasure to spend time with our oldest students. WMS graduates leave our school with strong academic and problem-solving skills, and the confidence to lead and make positive changes in the world around them. I enjoy taking the time to eat lunch and chat with our sixth-graders. This Monday, Adelayne, Evan, Zion and Ariel had some interesting things to share. When I asked what they would suggest for changes to WMS, they suggested completion of their new garden space adjacent to the classroom and a return of the Student Council. I will follow up on both suggestions. These short meetings are the highlight of my week! I reminded them that they are the leaders of the school. Some have been at WMS for 10 years!