New Approches to Developmental Math and Math Anxiety

I stumbled on an interesting article on Developmental Math at Community Colleges. There is information on changing the delivery of developmental math education and including non-cognitive skills like mindsets and math anxiety.

 It’s entitled: “Algebra Doesn’t have to be Scary” located at:


It talks about the high failure and attrition rate of Developmental Math Students and a program by Carnegie called “… the Community College Pathways Program, a network of community colleges, professional associations, and researchers determined to improve math literacy.”

Important Points:

  • The program came up with two courses Statway and Quantway.
    • Statway a one year course that combines High School Algebra and college statistics.
    • Quantway was divided into two semesters, “one more focused on developmental math, the other more focused on college-level quantitative reasoning.”
  • Both courses deal with
    • Math Anxiety helping students identify and deal with self-fulfilling prophesies
    • productive struggle” or  “the idea that struggling with the material means you’re learning and growing, even if you don’t get to the right answer,’ and Mindset.
  • Statway was launched in 2011, in  19 Community Colleges and two 4 yr. schools
    • 78% of students who participated where placed two levels below college math
    • Across the CC’s only 5.9% of Developmental Math students had earned college credit in Math one year later
    • Of the students who participated in Statway 51% had earned college credit in Math 1 year later.
    • These success rates were repeated in the second year of Statway
  • 33 Campuses including La Guardia Community College (CUNY) are implementing Statway now
  • 11 are implementing Quantway
    • Quantway has reported similar results in the Carnegie report I am including.
  • Starting in 2012, new colleges pay start-up fees to join the consortium—$25,000 in the first year and $20,000 in the second.
  • Carnegie also offers a free, five-week Quantway course through online provider NovoEd

 Carnegie Website:

Carnegie information on “Productive Persistence”:

 With research labs devoted to theses area:

  • Anxiety Dr. Sian Beilock and Seattle Central Community College
  • Threat Reappraisal Dr. Jeremy Jamieson and Cuyahoga Community College
  • Mindsets Dr. David Yeager and Austin Community College (Report for the White House Meeting on Excellence in Education attached)

It interesting to see how colleges are trying to deal with the these problems using current research and changes to traditional delivery of developmental math.


Rooting the Old Kindle Fire 6.3.1

My wife has the Kindle Fire that came out last X-mas, and last night I ran across a great article on how easy it is to root the original Kindle Fire.  I rooted my HTC EVO 4g last year (took about 8 hours, but works great, on my third ROM now), and I rooted my Acer A500 tablet last week, in about 15 minutes, so I thought the Kindle Fire would be a cinch.

I was successful with the Kindle Fire, but did manage to get stuck in a couple boot loops, and for about 10 minutes thought I bricked the thing. I did learn a few things though, and thought my experiences may help others avoid a few pitfall.

I started at liliputing using the awesome guide they have.

I got the Kindle Fire Utility. I ran the “install_drivers.bat,” but still had issues with the drivers not showing up. Luckily the guide walked through what to do in this case in step 2, and it did the trick.

Here is where I can add some wisdom. My wife and I wanted to install a custom JellyBean ROM. If you want to install a custom ROM, before you do anything else, download the ROM zip and put it in your Kindle’s root directory, (don’t extract it, keep it zipped.) You will most likely need Google apps, or gapps if you are going the custom ROM route. Make sure you download that as well and put it in your Kinlde’s root directory with the custom ROM.


Ok, so I will assume you have followed the liliputing guide, your got full root and a custom recovery installed on your kindle. You already have your custom ROM and Gapps on the Kindle. So you reboot into recovery. FIRST THING YOU DO IN RECOVERY IS MAKE A FULL BACKUP!!! THIS CAN SAVE YOUR ASS!

Tap on “Backup.” I backed up System, Data, Boot, and .android_secure. The first three were already checked. Not sure how important .android_secure is, but it just felt important so I checked it, and it did save me later. Hopefully you won’t need it, but for the love of God, make a backup.

It takes a few minutes for the backup to finish.


Next step is to click on Wipe and wipe the following:

  • Factory Reset,
  • System,
  • Dalvik Cache

as this helpful article also from lilputing  instructed.

Whatever you do, DO NOT REBOOT YET!!!!!

Install, or Flash Custom ROM then Gapps before you Reboot!

Another important thing, one that screwed me up for a while, is if you use a custom ROM that requires that you flash Gapps after the ROM, make sure you download that too, and put in the Kindle’s root directory with the custom ROM. The important thing here is after you flash the custom ROM,  DON’T FORGET TO FLASH GAPPS BEFORE YOU REBOOT!!!!

So you click back to get to the main recovery screen. Click Install, and the next screen should have your custom ROM and gapps to the right under “/sdcard”

Click on the custom ROM first.

then when that is done click on gapps.

Once they are both installed, you can reboot.

Viola, you have a new tablet, enjoy!

I used the Kindle Fire Utility to get full root and install the TWRP recovery.

Thanks to everyone at XDA and liliputing for all the info and work.

I ended up installing AOSP JELLY BEAN 4.1.2_r1 straight from Google sources, and love it, thanks Hashcode!

Noetic Now Journal | Institute of Noetic Sciences

Via Scoop.itMeditation and the Brain

Long interesting interview with neuropsychologist and meditation teacher Rick Hanson  : ” These five simple suggestions make up a basic practice that is based on good science. It’s a good illustration of self-directed neuroplasticity. This practice reliably stimulates the neural substrates of mindful attention, and over time, stimulating the neural substrates of mindful attention will naturally strengthen them, because neurons that fire together wire together. We can use this knowledge to build up the neural substrates of compassion, self-esteem, resilience, spiritual insight, and deep concentration.”