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By Alisha Gomez, Special to the Daily Pilot | March 24, 2012
For the fourth-graders at Plaza Vista Elementary School in Irvine, math is a sport. The year-round, K-8 school uses the First in Math program to motivate students. Fourth-grade teacher Dawn Burgess discovered the program about five years ago. After a trial subscription, she signed up her students for the online program because her class loved it so much. Now, all three fourth-grade classes are using the course during their extra time at school and at home. The program uses games tailored to the user, varying from addition to geometry.
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By Joseph Serna | May 29, 2009
When Newport Heights Elementary School Principal Kurt Suhr called out Julia Barney’s name for a math award Friday morning, it was met with the collective sigh of hundreds of unsurprised students. Julia Barney winning a math award? Duh. Just a year earlier, the 12-year-old was reciting the Pi sequence out to 100 places for the school talent show. When asked if they’d seen Julia receive a student award before, nearly everyone raised his or her hand. Hate to tell her fellow students, but they’ll probably just have to get used to it. “We have a designated math time in class, and a lot of times my friends will come up to me and ask me ‘How do I do this?
NEWS
July 8, 2009
This fall, UCI researchers will implement an experimental math program at 50 elementary schools in Orange County. UCI professor Michael Martinez will join with the Orange County Department of Education and the MIND Research Institute in Santa Ana to use alternative methods to teach math to second- through fifth-graders at under-performing elementary schools. The experimental technique will use game-like computer programs to promote the use of visual reasoning skills in math.
NEWS
November 30, 2004
"The hydrates are pretty new, and I only just learned it, and I don't fully understand those." MELISSA PARDUE, 16 Costa Mesa "Probably the superscripts are pretty hard. There are a lot of numbers like subs and powers, which actually are kind of hard. We have not learned it in our math yet." ROBERT DELA CRUZ, 16 Costa Mesa "There is a lot of math, and if you are not math-oriented it's not going to really work out for you, unless you are willing to work.
NEWS
May 26, 2005
Elia Powers Matthew Peterson's office has that mad scientist look: Elaborate mathematical equations and vague diagrams fill ceiling-high whiteboards on three sides of the room. He dresses the part too. A long white shirt is a staple of his wardrobe. But when Peterson explains his latest research and shows off his work, it's hardly esoteric. In fact, his job is to simplify material, to break down intermediate math problems and represent them visually so children under the age of 10 can understand.
NEWS
By Michael Miller | December 5, 2006
In Leslie Montejano's class at Newport Coast Elementary School, students are combining one of the newest art forms in the world with one of the oldest. Recently, Montejano received a grant from the California Technology Assistance Project to provide her entire class with iPods — handheld devices that play music or movies — and she cooked up a complex assignment to go with them. Last week, her students created songs about multiplication problems, set them to the tune of classic nursery rhymes and filmed themselves singing on digital cameras.
NEWS
September 7, 2004
Deepa Bharath From the scent of fresh paint and the rustle of textbooks to brand new courses and higher academic standards, students and teachers in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District will see quite a few changes on their respective campuses as they head back to school today, officials said. The cosmetic changes to their classrooms are usually what children and parents first notice when they return to school, said Candy Sperling, principal of Wilson Elementary School in Costa Mesa, which was extensively refurbished over the summer with new paint, walls and carpets.
NEWS
By Michael Miller | March 9, 2006
The Newport-Mesa Unified School District has announced a sweeping renovation of its math programs for the coming school year, aiming to boost student performance in response to tough state and federal standards. Two years ago, the district formed a special math curriculum committee to improve secondary students' grades and level the achievement gap between Newport-Mesa's richer and poorer schools. This fall, the redesign will begin in earnest, as each secondary campus will adopt a "pacing plan" and operate off of the same basic curriculum.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | December 25, 2007
Faces whitened with flour, aprons stained in smeared chocolate and hands sticky with sugar and egg, Amber Baur’s sixth-graders could have been mistaken for the school’s kitchen staff. Eastbluff Elementary’s School’s multipurpose room was converted into a small bakery for a couple of hours Wednesday when Baur’s class learned fractions in a different, but tasteful way. Baur’s students were using math to reduce recipes meant for several dozen down to enough for a class of 20. If the kids miscalculated, they wouldn’t see any red ink on paper.
NEWS
By Britney Barnes and Lauren Williams, britney.barnes@latimes.com | August 24, 2011
COSTA MESA — Back Bay High School made the largest increase in the percentage of students who passed the high school exit exam this year over last, according to data released Wednesday. The alternative high school at 390 Monte Vista Drive made a 9% gain in math and a 4% gain in English, with 68% of its students passing the two sections, according to the state Department of Education. The data looked at the percentage of sophomore students who passed the math and English-language arts section of the California High School Exit Exam, or CAHSEE, in 2010-11.
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By Hannah Fry | April 11, 2014
The seventh-grade boy looked down at his blank work sheet, unsure how to begin solving the multistep algebraic equation that the teacher had written on the white board. After a moment's hesitation, he began building the equation, X + -2 = -6, with blue and white tiles sitting atop his work sheet to find the mysterious value of X. After manipulating the tiles, he thought he had the answer. However, after a second look he quickly corrected himself, earning a nod of approval from his Costa Mesa Middle School math teacher, Racine Cross.
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NEWS
By Hannah Fry | March 28, 2014
Paularino Elementary School kindergartner Cash Gorke looked eagerly at the marine life swimming around inside the touch tank in a Costa Mesa High School science classroom. After getting a nod of approval from his mother, Cash plunged both arms into the tank, the sleeves of his black shirt quickly absorbing the water, and pulled up a bright orange sea star. He proudly displayed his catch to other children standing near him, holding it up like he had found treasure among the sea creatures.
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By Hannah Fry | March 14, 2014
Seventh-grader Jonathan Barton steadied himself and stared down his target. With a sly smile, the 12-year-old pulled his arm back with the intensity of a Major League Baseball pitcher and launched the aluminum pie tin full of whipped cream through the air and right into his science teacher's face. The entire lunch area erupted in cheers. What would typically be treated as a punishable offense was welcomed at Costa Mesa High School on Friday - also known as Pi Day. "I picked Ms. [Verenice]
NEWS
By Mona Shadia, Special to the Daily Pilot | February 7, 2014
About 500 educators gathered in Costa Mesa this week to address ways to introduce science, technology, engineering and mathematics, so-called STEM education, to preschoolers. The Early Childhood STEM Conference, held from Thursday to Saturday at the Hilton Orange County, aims to show educators from across the state that it's possible to teach young children about science and technology. It's all part of an effort to reduce the nation's shortage of qualified candidates for math- and science-based fields.
NEWS
October 26, 2013
Last weekend one our reporters produced a good story about a Newport Elementary School teacher implementing the state's new Common Core curriculum into her classroom. There has been much debate regarding this approach to teaching, which emphasizes conceptual understanding over old-school memorization. Having something of a preference for the "Three R" technique of our day, we were skeptical of this change at first, but we like what we're hearing about it now. The idea is to guide pupils to understand what they're learning, and what the material means, rather than just teaching them to memorize facts and bubble them in on standardized tests.
NEWS
By Hannah Fry | September 19, 2013
Orange Coast College broke ground on its $35 million interdisciplinary complex this week, kicking off one of many major construction projects in the works at the campus. The building, adjacent to the Adams Avenue parking lot, will open in fall 2015. It will house facilities for computer science, math and business. The building, funded by Measure M, a $698-million bond measure passed by Orange County voters in 2012, will be part of a larger complex that will probably include literature, language and social science classes in the future, said Rich Pagel, vice president of administrative services at OCC. "There's a lot that will unfold in the next 10 years," he said.
NEWS
By Janet Geehr | May 20, 2013
Re. "Apodaca: Common Core may add up to math skills boost we need," (May 12): Patrice Apodaca's enthusiasm for the new Common Core math program, based on her belief that it will improve students' math skills, grabbed my attention. As a former teacher and the parent of three Newport-Mesa students, education is paramount to me. Apodaca inspired me to investigate Common Core; I do not share her optimism. Improving students' math skills is a laudable goal. However, the only mathematician on the Common Core Validation Committee, Stanford professor James Milgram, refused to sign off on the standards.
NEWS
By Patrice Apodaca | May 11, 2013
I worked on a story about Michael Milken many years ago, not long after the infamous junk-bond tycoon's release from prison. During the reporting phase, I observed him fulfilling his court-ordered community service by teaching a math clinic at a middle school in a low-income Los Angeles neighborhood. The clinic was not at all what I had expected. Milken, accompanied by his usual entourage, approached the job with the fervor of a motivational speaker. He knew the kids by name and took them through a series of math games, during which they used techniques they'd been taught to multiply and divide multiple-digit numbers quickly in their heads.
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By Jeremiah Dobruck | March 14, 2013
First-grader Max Razmjoo belted out a string of random digits Thursday, stopping only briefly for breath and to say "um" a few times. He was reciting pi - hundreds of digits of it. But then he got stuck. Keeping score, math department Chairwoman Meggen Stockstill shook her head as Max stumbled. "No wait!" he said. "6-2-6-0. " And from there he was back on track, finishing out a round 500 digits. Pi is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, about equal to 3.14159.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | February 27, 2013
It would take new sales or parcel taxes for the city of Costa Mesa to meet its long-term pension obligations, a Stanford University professor told the City Council on Tuesday night. Joe Nation said the scenario surrounding the difference between the amounts promised to retirees versus projected available funding to meet those commitments to the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) is "stark. " Nation, a Democrat speaking before four of the five Republicans on the council, said his bleak assessment was about math and numbers, not "beating up anybody.
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