Why does Math Literacy Matter? (Part 2)

 

Math Literacy with Saving - POWEROrgMath
Math Literacy with Saving – POWEROrgMath

Personal finance (aka money management) is one of the most natural areas to practice numbers and develop our literacy.

If we can’t understand numbers and apply them to solve problems accurately and fluently, then we are mathematically illiterate.

“When math is a natural, normal, and neutral part of our world, we embrace it.” LaToniya A. Jones

Informed/Productive Citizens:   Math literacy is also important in our personal lives. When we understand the math terms  and basic concepts we are in a great position to stretch our dollars, make reasonable decisions about products and services we select, and even compare which candidates will be the best for our communities and governments based on their trends, track records by numbers and information in tables, graphs, and charts.

Forecasting Outcomes:  Imagine reading the newspaper, magazines, books or dictionaries with very important terms or numerical representations… misused or presented vaguely.

Percentages listed without the sample size  can be misleading and cause readers to form opinions without enough background information.

Based on the source, we tend to consider it a typographical error.  But, is it really? Having enough information available is important to understanding the situation and also serves as a model for future use.

Can you recommend any resources, strategies, or habits that can improve our math literacy skills?


What’s your opinion about math literacy?

Any unique, gut wrenching experiences?


LaToniya A. Jones, M.Ed – POWER Org Math Founder, has more than 20 years in education, leadership, nonprofit and higher education teaching and administration.

POWER Org Math is an educational 501c3 nonprofit that engages youth ages 4-18 and families in math and career explorations to enhance their lives in fun and meaningful ways. Est. 2005.

 Invest for Kids to Win with Math! Donate, Volunteer!

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Math in Lit Affairs = Successful Engagement for Families

We are merging the interests of those who like math or reading only!

Check out a few highlights from our 2011 sessions in Detroit and Auburn Hills (Pontiac) communities!

Math in Literature Affairs are carefully designed to have a laid back feel that is both inviting and engaging. We create a family-friendly setting for families to learn with and from each other while exploring literature (books, novels, magazines, etc.) to dispel the myths that boys don’t like to read or girls don’t perform well in math.

We are removing the anxiety associated with learning and making meaningful connections with math! Families are introduced to picture books and novels that they add to their personal libraries or check out from their local library.

Featured authors:

Patty Obrien Novak (mother, engineer, author, advocate) of Michigan

POWEROrgMath Math in Lit Affair – Patty O’Brien Novak (2011)

Her book Engineering the ABCs was a hit with children of all ages. Each of our 13 families represented received a personalized copy of her book (which she donated), book marks, and coloring sheets. A few parents even purchased additional copies as gifts for their relatives and children’s classrooms.

Patty chatted about being an engineer and why she decided to write the book for children. She has always been curious about how things work… especially things all around us. Mrs. Obrien put children and their families in their natural setting of playing with things while engaging them in a conversation about how these things impact our lives and function.

Joseph D’Agnese (is a journalist, author and editor who has written books for kids and adults) who grew up in New Jersey. He authored Fibonacci: The Life of Blockhead. It is a children’s picture book that shares the history and a great introduction into the Fibonacci sequence.

POWEROrgMath – Math in Lit Affair – Joe D’Agnese (2011)

Joe led a very engaging Skype visit that answered questions about his interests in art, history, and math. Families were delighted to have such a personal and comical discussion with someone who loves children and would invest so much time and energy in helping them succeed with math. Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci is full of nature, history, and math. Eight families received hard copies for their home libraries.

Tara Michener is an author and advocate of anti-bullying among youth and adults. She founded Professionals Against Bullying, leads various groups and sits on numerous committees supporting diversity and eliminating bullying.

POWEROrgMath MathinLit Affair - Jason and Tara Michener (2011)
POWEROrgMath MathinLit Affair – Jason and Tara Michener (2011)

Tara and her husband Jason are a dynamic duo in creating literature to help children and those who love and care them identify and address aspects of bullying that are often overlooked. Ten families received autographed copies of one of her 3 books: Who I Am , Not What I Am; 100% Real; No Longer Besties. Families left inspired about the writing process, becoming stellar business owners by carefully calculating costs and profits, sharing their dreams with the world to spread good in the world.

A few comments by guests

  • “This was Natalie’s first P.O.W.E.R. Org event and she loved it. She enjoyed the hands-on activities. I really felt that it was an extremely valuable event and definitely recommend it to others.”   ~ Angela R. (parent of 5 year old)
  • “I like it very, very, very, very, very, much.” ~ 6-8 year old
  • “It was good. I liked it. All activities are chosen in a way that kids don’t get overwhelmed. Not boring.” ~ Adult

 

What is your favorite math story or book? 


LaToniya A. Jones, M.Ed – POWER Org Math Founder, has more than 20 years in education, leadership, nonprofit and higher education teaching and administration.

POWER Org Math is an educational 501c3 nonprofit that engages youth ages 4-18 and families in math and career explorations to enhance their lives in fun and meaningful ways. Est. 2005.

 Invest for Kids to Win with Math! Donate, Volunteer!

WebTwitter, G+, Instagram, Facebook

Why does Math Literacy Matter? (Part 1)

Math Literacy with Saving
Math Literacy with Saving – POWEROrgMath

Math is among the least discussed topics in general conversation.

“A meaningful conversation about math is a topic that  we all must engage in if we plan to improve skills, opportunities, and our economy.“~ LaToniya A. Jones

Literacy is important in all situations. 

While math is usually associated with numeracy, a basic understanding of the terms associated with that numeracy skill can prevent serious mistakes and help communicate tasks, forecast outcomes, and function as informed/productive citizens… throughout life.

Communication:   A large percentage of students and (and those who did not perform well during their school days) would rather skip a story (word) problem or rationalize their way out of it than to face the fact that they don’t understand a term, phrase, or concept.

  • Some students and even business professionals find it challenging to effectively communicate their ideas about basic computation in daily life occurrences with “math terms”.
  • Most people are more comfortable either sketching their thoughts out or substituting terms for the acceptable (more accurate) version of what they are trying to convey.

Why is it acceptable/overlooked when:

  • Someone misspells math terms like fourty for forty?
  • The terms “too, two, to; fore, four, for; sum, some“  (aka homonyms – terms that sound the same but are spelled differently) are used?

The absence of a strong sense of math literacy can land us all in the lowest median income positions (for life) versus becoming producers and owners of the businesses and services we enjoy providing. It’s true that we must all start somewhere, but growth is essential for life.

Here are a few simple suggestions to stop this cycle of math illiteracy.

  1. Google the term
  2. Search the glossary of terms associated with a document or career field
  3. Ask someone for clarification before proceeding incorrectly

Have you noticed any math terms used incorrectly?

What’s your opinion about math literacy?


LaToniya A. Jones, MEd. – POWER Org Math Founder, has more than 20 years in education, leadership, nonprofit and higher education teaching and administration.

POWER Org Math is an educational 501c3 nonprofit that engages youth ages 4-18 and families in math and career explorations to enhance their lives in fun and meaningful ways. Est. 2005.

 Invest for Kids to Win with Math! Donate, Volunteer!

WebTwitter, G+, Instagram, Facebook

I Love My Kids With Math Workshop removes anxiety for parents helping their kids

ILMKWM Love Notes - East Detroit Schools - Title 1 Parent Dinner) 2013
ILMKWM Love Notes – East Detroit Schools – Title 1 Parent Dinner) 2013

I LOVE My Kids with Math workshops help parents address their own anxieties about math or helping their students learn by exploring strategies and resources.

It’s always a pleasure to meet and serve a portion of the East Detroit Schools parents whose children (kids) benefit from Title I programs! *Survey comments are from our Spring 2014 session with 17 parents. Images are from the 2013 session with more than 100 parents and staff.


The opening conversation helped our team, and the school personnel present, learn about ways to continue supporting parents as they strive to help their children (kids) thrive with math!

There was definitely a different energy level and a greater opportunity to really tune in to the concerns and needs of parents in this smaller group. Smaller groups can make for meaningful connections when trying to embrace, empower, and engage for change!

ILMKWM - East Detroit Schools - Title 1 Parent Dinner (2013)
ILMKWM – East Detroit Schools – Title 1 Parent Dinner (2013)

Tip #1: We must make more time to hear what’s on the minds of parents in order to help them L.O.V.E. their kids (children) with math.

Tip #2: Parents who make time in their busy schedules to learn ways to support their children (kids) beyond the school day should definitely be commended and celebrated.

Tip #3: Parents need tech tools as well to refresh, monitor, and help their kids (children) succeed!


Most interesting aspects of the ILMKWM workshop (sample survey responses)

“Introducing higher level math with everyday life and easy processes.”

“How to work with your kids.”

“How to communicate effectively with your child and how to associate

everyday skills with them.”

“Better ways to understand math and a better way to explain math to my kids.”

“How using the computer games to help her learn.”

“The applications and the websites were very interesting.”

“Listening to the children, and understanding the stresses of their learning processes.”

“Not as informative as I was hoping.” <- We appreciate and report all feedback fairly because it matters to our growth and transparency :-)

100% of parents reported that they felt they could use what was shared! 


ILMKWM - East Detroit Schools - Title 1 Parent Dinner (2013)  Our Team with Staff
ILMKWM – East Detroit Schools – Title 1 Parent Dinner (2013) Our Team with Staff

Tip #4:  Some parents have a very good understanding of mathematics yet have challenges with helping their children (kids) stick with it or develop a deeper understanding of it. So, their expectations for something grand from support systems (internally and externally) may be unrealistic within a certain period of time.

Tip #5: The “simple” consistent considerations available for helping to build trust, model patience, and integrate proven resources make a significant difference with struggling learners of any age.


                     What are your goals for loving your kids with math?


LaToniya A. Jones, M.Ed. – POWER Org Math Founder, has more than 20 years in education, leadership, nonprofit and higher education teaching and administration.

POWER Org Math is an educational 501c3 nonprofit that engages youth ages 4-18 and families in math and career explorations to enhance their lives in fun and meaningful ways. Est. 2005.

 Invest for Kids to Win with Math! Donate, Volunteer!

WebTwitter, G+, Instagram, Facebook

Do you know 5 ways that math is used in computer game design?

Our POWER Org Math team strive to help students make meaningful connections between math and anything that they are working on before they even get started.

A parent captured this clip of our founder, LaToniya, encouraging our Gaming for Youth participants to consider the types of math (and math terms) that are involved in game design before they went to work in the computer lab with Baker College Computer Animation Club members.

Part 1: POWER Org Math Gaming for Youth Series (Spring 2013)

What are 5 ways that math is used in computer game design?


LaToniya A. Jones, M.Ed. – POWER Org Math Founder, has more than 20 years in education, leadership, nonprofit and higher education teaching and administration.

POWER Org Math is an educational 501c3 nonprofit that engages youth ages 4-18 and families in math and career explorations to enhance their lives in fun and meaningful ways. Est. 2005.

 Invest for Kids to Win with Math! Donate, Volunteer!

WebTwitter, G+, Instagram, Facebook

3 Steps to Quieting the Noise (in our heads) called Math Anxiety

POWEROrgStationatSAFE Expo 2013

Students and adults who experience “Math Anxiety” hear a lot of noise and may have physiological changes that cause them to under-perform in work, school, and daily tasks involving math.

This anxiety may be from the frustration and thoughts about moving forward confidently and competently.

It’s time to leave those thoughts in the past and move forward. Here are a few ways to jump start that process.

  1. Take the pulse of your ATTITUDE
  • Do you feel that taking employment placement or school related tests and performing math calculations are a chore?
  • What was/is the energy level that your math teacher project in class?
  • Do you easily see the connections between math and tasks that you perform?

These are all factors that contribute to the noise called math anxiety.

  1. Listen Closely to Your Body!
  • Pay attention to how your body responds to stressful situations. (sweat, heart racing, nausea).
  • Breathe slowly.
  1. Take Control by Taking Action!
  • Access the resources that you have available to you (textbook, videos, teachers, family, friends). Make sure that you know how to use each well and often.
  • Think about who can assist you quickly. Ask them for specific help (note taking, studying together, more test strategies, etc.).
  • Believe in yourself and your abilities. Give it your very best.
  • Decide that you can comprehend and succeed with math!

You will be amazed by your comfort level and the additional opportunities available.

Share your tips on quieting the Noise about Math.

Do you have a specific question about this topic?


Consider this Math Anxiety Article full of research based reasons and for Stopping the Noise (in our heads)  About Math.


LaToniya A. Jones, M.Ed. – POWER Org Math Founder, has more than 20 years in education, leadership, nonprofit and higher education teaching and administration.

POWER Org Math is an educational 501c3 nonprofit that engages youth ages 4-18 and families in math and career explorations to enhance their lives in fun and meaningful ways. Est. 2005.

 Invest for Kids to Win with Math! Donate, Volunteer!

WebTwitter, G+, Instagram, Facebook

We Encourage Girls to Pursue Health Science Careers

Originally posted October 2012

Our first Saturday Math Challenge sessions helped girls bond, think critically, and explore health science careers.

  • Have you ever dissected an animal?
  • Do you know which animal body parts are most like humans?
  • Why does any of this matter?
  • What’s the math in all of this?

Math is everywhere. Until we expose children to new opportunities, they will never know how far they can possibly soar.


LaToniya A. Jones, M.Ed. – POWER Org Math Founder, has more than 20 years in education, leadership, nonprofit and higher education teaching and administration.

POWER Org Math is an educational 501c3 nonprofit that engages youth ages 4-18 and families in math and career explorations to enhance their lives in fun and meaningful ways. Est. 2005.

 Invest for Kids to Win with Math! Donate, Volunteer!

WebTwitter, G+, Instagram, Facebook

POWER Org Math Launched a Global Math Initiative in South Africa

Originally published April 2014

On March 29, 2014, we launched our “Global Math Initiative (GMI): To enhance academic and cultural experiences with STEM” in South Africa.

Our Founder and Executive Director, LaToniya A. Jones, has been in the Limpopo Province collaborating with Mr. Munienge Mbolia and the Science Foundations department at the University of Venda (UNIVEN) to prepare for the POWER Org Math – South Africa GMI launch, Math Clubs and special Math Affairs since Sunday, March 23, 2014.

POWER Org Math Global Math Initiative - South Africa Launch Activity with Founder LaToniya  (March 2014)
POWER Org Math Global Math Initiative – South Africa Launch Activity with Founder LaToniya (March 2014)

100 learners in grades 10-11 worked collaboratively to build bridges, rotate to small group sessions for introductions to binary coding, html language, tossing balls to simplify radical expressions and factorization (factorisation), graphing and geometry bingo, French, and more during the What’s the Math in This? mini-conference. Sessions were led by Senior Math Ambassadors and UNIVEN lecturers.

The initial 6 months of the GMI for POWER Org Math – South Africa will be hosted in the Milton Mpfumedzeni Secondary School for learners (students) in grades 10-12. The school is located in the Limpopo Province (Lukalo Village, near Thohoyandou). We have already received notice about others who are interested in this experience for their learners.

Honors and first year (foundation level) students at UNIVEN will serve as Senior Math Ambassadors. Junior Math Ambassadors will consist of a select group of high achieving learners from grades 10-12 at the Milton Mpfumedzeni Secondary School . Ambassadors will provide a structured comprehensive set of activities that help to remove math anxiety, build confidence, competence, and help learners work independently to achieve their individual academic goals based on the school’s math curriculum.

Building bridges to make meaningful academic and cultural connections with STEM!
POWER Org Math – Global Math Initiative in South Africa:  Building bridges to make meaningful academic and cultural connections with STEM!

Mpfumedzeni’s POWER Org Math Club will be coordinated onsite by Mr. Lawrence Okwuasi, a secondary math and science educator. They will frequently use technology to exchange their academic experiences, challenges, and culture with our current 10th grade math club in Detroit, Michigan.

Mr. Muvhango, the principal of Milton Mpfumedzeni Secondary School, shared how excited he was to witness and experience some of the most challenged learners having fun while doing math differently. He believes that this new way of learning is beneficial to both the learners and the educators at his school and publicly committed to integrating some of the practices into their school day on Monday, March 31, 2014.  The learners are ready to hold him to it.

We look forward to growing these relationships through our Global Math Initiative and making meaningful academic and cultural connections between USA students and South African learners.

We are building bridges because learning has no boundaries.


POWER Org Math is an educational 501c3 nonprofit that engages youth ages 4-18 and families in math and career explorations to enhance their lives in fun and meaningful ways. Est. 2005.

 Invest for Kids to Win with Math! Donate, Volunteer!

WebTwitter, G+, Instagram, Facebook

Tammica Dotson – Why I Serve with POWER Org Math (Guest Post)

 

I have watched POWER Org transform from a thought in LaToniya Jones’ mind in 1997 to action packed programs and events that benefit the community.

I grew up in the inner city of Detroit and attended Detroit Public Schools.  Math was not my strong subject.

POWEROrgMath - 2014 Back to School Skate (Toni, Tammi, Robyn)
POWEROrgMath – 2014 Back to School Skate (Toni, Tammi, Robyn)

Unfortunately, I didn’t get the support I needed as early as elementary school. My teachers made me feel like I couldn’t ask a question or was “slow” for not catching on as quickly as the other students.

Instead of one of my elementary school teachers taking a little extra time with me, she pushed me off on other students in the classroom who made comments like, “you don’t know how to do that?”  When I got home, my brother made the same comments and math became my kryptonite.

The foundation that should have been laid early on wasn’t in place and in my remaining school years, math always haunted me.

Although I wanted to explore other careers, I always  asked myself about (or researched) the amount of math that was involved in the career.

I enjoy the concepts and extra time that POWER Org Math gives to youth and families.

It’s work is making a positive impact in the community.

It brings me to joy to serve the youth and families who received the extra boost that I wish I had received at an earlier age.  I could have benefited from an organization like POWER Org Math when I was in school.

Join me in supporting POWER Org Math by volunteering, making a donation, and spreading the word about their existence and passion for helping youth with math.

I hope to see you soon!

Tammica Dotson


POWER Org Math is an educational 501c3 nonprofit that engages youth ages 4-18 and families in math and career explorations to enhance their lives in fun and meaningful ways. Est. 2005.

 Invest for Kids to Win with Math! Donate, Volunteer!

WebTwitter, G+, Instagram, Facebook

WTMIT Expo: Math and Nutrition Reflections by Author, Yvelette Stines

It was a wonderful fall day at the Boys and Girls Club in Royal Oak. POWER Org Math was hosting their annual Math Expo. This particular weekend it was for the Girls. Starting with an empowering introduction to start off the Expo, 50-80 girls participated in a number of math activities throughout the day. There were also activities about life, career, as well as health and wellness. I had the honor of sharing some smoothies with the participants.

POWER Org Math Expo for Girls - Math + Nutrition (Oct 2013)
POWER Org Math – 2013 Expo for Girls – Math + Nutrition with Author Yvelette Stines

Upon entering my station many of the girls gave the green smoothie a wonderful and adorable questionable stare. With mixed emotions of excitement, curiosity, and hesitation the girls gave the smoothies a chance and ended up loving the samples and returning for more. The station was interactive. The girls had an opportunity to make the smoothie for others to try. My station explained the importance of healthy eating and developing healthy lifestyle habits. We also talked about recipes, the benefits of incorporating fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as my book Vernon the Vegetable Man.

The girls really loved the smoothies and a few asked if I could make them some to take home. The POWER Org Math Expo was a wonderful event. This organization is impacting children, families, and the community in a positive way.

Here’s a treat for you to do a little math while taking care of your nutrition.  Adjust the ingredients (by amount and item) to fit your needs. So mathematical!

Brain Power Smoothie
2 cups spinach, fresh
1 cup strawberries

1 cup blueberries

2 bananas

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed

Yvelette Stines, Author of Vernon the Vegetable Man

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POWER Org Math is an educational 501c3 nonprofit that engages youth ages 4-18 and families in math and career explorations to enhance their lives in fun and meaningful ways. Est. 2005.

 Invest for Kids to Win with Math! Donate, Volunteer!

WebTwitter, G+, Instagram, Facebook