September 2017: Why Invest in Math?

Math predicts success in college

Peg Maddocks, Ph.D, Executive Director
Published on September 8, 2017

Did you know that success in math is the biggest predictor for success in college? And did you also know that a majority of students in the country, including Napa County, struggle with learning math?

In this issue of our newsletter we’ll tell you about a few of the amazing initiatives NapaLearns is investing in to help our students be successful in math and to help close the achievement gap. The new California State Standards are freeing up teachers to do inquiry-based math, instead of rote memorization, and students are loving it. But teachers need professional development to change their practice.

NapaLearns will be investing over $300,000 in teacher training and curriculum to transform the way math is taught in many of our schools. Funding from generous donors makes this possible, so won’t you join us in supporting the Napa County math transformation? Donate here.

C-STEM Expanding to 6 Schools

by Mario Piombo

NapaLearns is investing over $140,000 into expanding computer science and robotics into middle and high schools across Napa County. The program will now be offered at American Canyon High School, American Canyon Middle School, Redwood Middle School, Valley Oak High School, Vintage High School, and St. Helena High School. The program integrates coding and robotics into traditional math courses, allowing students to earn math credit while learning how to code. Read More

Dr. Jo Boaler works with Napa Valley teachers on math instruction

Jo Boaler: Anyone Can Learn Math — Really!

by Laura Masters, Owner, The Masters Company for Learning and NapaLearns Board Member

NapaLearns invited Dr. Boaler to Napa to engage, excite, and empower Napa teachers to learn and teach math differently, and to inspire their students, in a full day workshop in Napa on August 7, 2017. More than two hundred teachers attended even though for most it was a summer day off. Dr. Boaler firmly believes, and teaches, that the best way to change how math is taught, is to have teachers engage in math in a different, hands-on, interconnected way. An hour slipped by practically unnoticed by teachers when Boaler presented a math patterning problem for groups to solve with words, pictures, and proofs. Most educators were astonished by their level of engagement in solving the problem, the camaraderie, and the discoveries they made in the process. Read More

Notes from teacher workshop on teaching maths

May the Slowest One Win

by Jen Ellison, Technology Design Lab Coach, Phillips Charter School

I spent today at a maths training for teachers that was hosted by NapaLearns. I teach computers, but have become a lover of maths, so I enjoyed this training thoroughly. If you follow me on Twitter, you are probably VERY aware of this! I did not enjoy maths in school. I was one of the slowest in my class to learn my multiplication facts. My teachers used Mad Minutes where you have to solve a bunch of problems in a minute. I remember this experience with great frustration. I could never beat the clock. Never.

Read More

Board Member Spotlight

by Gianna Peralta

NapaLearns is proud to feature Dan Lynch in this issue’s Board Member Spotlight! As a founder and longstanding member of the NapaLearns Board, Dan consistently shares his passion for math and computer science by supporting initiatives for students that foster critical thinking and creativity. He is also a longtime friend and colleague of Chuck McMinn, NapaLearns Chairman.

NapaLearns needs your support

Transforming existing public schools requires long-term funding, persistent and strong partnerships with district staff, education experts, and community leaders, plus a commitment to stay the course. We hope you will become a partner and make an investment in this amazing work.

Make a Donation today