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RTG Education | Lifestyle | Recipes | Math Games | Did You Know?!



Kimberley Langen speaks on higher-education | pg. 2-3

Creating strong problem solvers for the future | pg. 5

Spirit of Math embraces Human Rights Month | pg. 4

Holiday cooking | pgs. 6-7







Have fun figuring out this issue’s Heads & Legs, learning fun facts about Christmas and figuring out Sudoku Sizzlers | pg. 8

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Higher Education Conference of the Americas and the WISE World Innovation Summit



About Kim A loving wife and mother of two, an innovative entrepreneur, and a voice of authority in education. Spirit of Math Schools CEO and Co-founder, Kimberley Langen, is dedicated to “Releasing the Genius” in every child around the globe. Kim has an extensive background in mathematics and education; she holds a Bachelor of Education degree in Math and Science from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Biology from Queen’s University. A Canadian teacher, Kim has taught at numerous high schools in Toronto and was the Head of Academics at The Bethany Hills School before incorporating Spirit of Math in 1995. Kim was named Entrepreneur of the Year by EY (Ernst & Young) finalist, is a member of Chatelaine’s W100 2015 List of Top Female Entrepreneurs and is nominated for The 2018 Mompreneur® Awards!


RTG is produced and distributed by: RELEASING THE

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This is a historic time, a time to observe and realize a massive disruption in education. This disruption began approximately 20 years ago when people questioned the effectiveness of rote learning, and consequently integrated new ideologies in education. The intent was to change students from being people who wait to be told what to do, to creative people who naturally use what they have learned and apply it to solve problems. The principle was to produce people who could think on their own, and to think divergently. This brought forth the idea of teaching by construction, so that the learner would develop an innate sense of discovery and a growth mindset. Ideally, this would create independent and creative thinkers. The beginnings were slow: many new ideas succeeded, and others did not. HOW to teach was the focus. Questioning the bigger concept of education was missed. Because of the advent of the massive burst of technology, new ways to communicate, distribute information and to share ideas evolved. People outside of the “normal” education spheres actively questioned education, disrupting the delivery of content and rethinking instruction. This is not just digitizing our old way of doing, using the concept of education that is over 100 years old – they are actively shifting the concept of education. In the last two months, two ground-breaking global education summits occurred. The first was the Conference of the Americas on Higher Education, held in Montreal, Canada. The second was WISE, World Innovation Summit in Education, held in Doha, Qatar. These conferences served as a venue for those in positions of authority, who have the ability and the vision to create massive changes in education, and that is exactly what they are doing: creating massive changes. The presidents, deans and professors of universities and colleges were present, CEO’s and founders of local and international NGO’s, prime ministers and presidents, the first lady of Turkey, her excellency the Queen of Qatar, and founders and funders of the largest educational technology companies who are disrupting education as we now know, were all there. The key ideas that were discussed are critical to leaders in societies, as much as to parents of any aged student. I have highlighted four of the numerous ideas on page 3. The world has changed, and it is changing at an exponential rate; but this is > Spirit of Math® is a thought leader, influencer, change maker and an authoritative voice in higher education. Spirit of Math Schools Inc. (SoM) is an exclusive and unique Canadian after-school math enrichment program for high-performing and gifted students from Kindergarten to Grade 11. For over 30 years, students are being taken from the top of their class to the top of their world with nearly 8,000 students attending our more than 40 campuses throughout Canada, in the United States and in Pakistan. Our unique curriculum challenges and advances students’ problem-solving and logical thinking, resulting in students finding themselves on national and international mathematics honour rolls year-in and year-out. SoM has been increasing the standard of excellence in global math education; its successful program was asked to exclusively represent Canada at the World Mathematical Olympiad (WMO) in Beijing, China on August 12, 2017. SoM’s Team Canada (Grades 3-6) competed on the world stage and proudly earned Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. DECEMBER 2017 ISSUE

> just the beginning of the roller coaster ride that we are all on. Nothing is stagnant anymore. Change is rampant. To keep up with the change our leaders of the future must be role models in the way they think, to know how to think divergently, to be visionaries, to value humanity and learn from others. They must also have the courage and integrity to speak the truth, the compassion to hear the voice of those who suffer and the wisdom to provide solutions. Education is the future of the world. It is the primary responsibility of educators, parents and leaders to prepare children to solve problems that they themselves have never anticipated. We coexist in this world. Our greatest problems will only be solved once we understand the genius in others, no matter our background, our colour or the geographic area that we live in. FOUR KEY TAKE-AWAYS FROM THE CONFERENCE OF AMERICAS ON HIGHER EDUCATION, AND WISE 1. Fake News, Fake Facts a. Our world today lacks truth. b. How do we navigate in this post-truth world? c. Looking for education based on values, rather than manipulation. d. Curriculum is to focus on critical thinking, truth, with a cultural immunity that allows students to have a critical perspective and protect the children from the people who are providing fake truths. 2. Questioning the Purpose of Education a. What now is the definition of success? To succeed, does intelligence really matter? Can Happiness be the definition of success? (Research is showing that happiness correlates to the amount of human contact.) b. Academics is extremely important, but other education is undervalued. c. Social emotional intelligence is the primary driver and therefore should be the focus in education. d. What is the big data for dignity and empathy? 3. We Must Now Have a Growth Mindset a. Average stay in a job is 4.5 years in America. b. Can’t train for doing “things” because most of the jobs in the future haven’t even been thought of right now. c. Must teach children to love to learn, because the world needs to have life-long learners – this is the future. How do we create a love for learning? d. Stop sorting students into winners and losers. The future DECEMBER 2017 ISSUE

requires learning with one’s heart, head and hands. e. Everyone has the power in this world to change something in this world. 4. We Must Choreograph Learning a. Teach students to ask questions and solve problems. b. Go back to the basics of liberal education to question the views thrown at you. For example, how do we take a step away from computers? How does this create a better life? z

Celebrating Our Vaughan Campus Grand Opening! Spirit of Math’s success and the rising demand for our exclusive and unique after-school math program led to the Grand Opening celebration of our new custom-built campus in Vaughan now located at 9135 Keele Street. Campus Owners Ramzan and Farah Khuwaja are thrilled about their new campus location, which they describe as “bright, spacious, beautiful and welcoming to students, parents and teachers.” The ribbon-cutting Grand Opening celebration was attended by Spirit of Math students, parents and campus staff, as well as Sunder Singh, Local and Regional Councillor for the City of Vaughan and York Region, and Reverend Robert Royal of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Maple where the original campus was located for more than a decade. Congratulatory remarks were made by CEO and Co-founder, Kimberley Langen, Councillor Sunder Singh on behalf of Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, and Reverend Royal. “This is a day we knew would come. They outgrew us,” Rev. Royal explained proudly before a crowd of more than 100 attendees. “Spirit of Math started small coming into St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. I can see that you’ve grown so wonderfully, and it’s so nice to see these young faces and bright young people that are not only the future of this community, but also of this country.” The successful ceremony ended with the cutting of the Spirit of Math cake that was enjoyed along with delicious appetizers and refreshments catered by Pia’s Passion Bakery. z pg. 3



We Believe That Everyone Deserves An Education! December is a special time of the year when families around the world celebrate winter, faith, family, love, togetherness and giving-back while reflecting on the passing year. December is recognized globally as Human Rights Month – established by the United Nations Human Rights Council on December 10 in 1948, outlining the basic rights of all individuals globally – Article 26 of the World-Shifting Document, declared fair access to education as a fundamental global human right. We reflect on 2017 as a banner year for our corporation with the opening of 3 new Spirit of Math campuses in Lahore, bringing our exclusive and unique Canadian after-school mathematics enrichment program for highperforming and gifted students from grades 1 to 5 to Pakistan in August 2017. After over 30 years of success in Canada and the US, we were able to strengthen our mission of “releasing the genius in every child globally” by offering higher-education to students in Pakistan. WE’RE DEDICATED TO GIVING BACK As global leaders in education and innovation, we are dedicated to continually helping our local communities

thrive. Each year our Gwendolyn Ledger Memorial Fund provides an educational opportunity that will allow the ability to fundamentally and dramatically change the life of a person, with the ultimate aim of releasing them from poverty. The goal is to create a ripple effect with each recipient, allowing them to give back to society and to provide further opportunities for their own families. To date the Gwendolyn Ledger Memorial Fund has proudly assisted more than 15 individuals. Spirit of Math also partners with the World Partnership Walk in support of the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada, an organization dedicated to social, economic and cultural development in 30 countries across the globe. In honour of Universal Children’s Day 2017, Spirit of Math Pakistan hosted “Kids Day Pakistan” at Kids Kampus Gulberg. At the well-attended event, special guest, advocate and Pakistani living legend, Bushra Ansari, announced that she was donating after-school bursaries to 10 students (5 girls & 5 boys) in grades 1 to 5 who are currently attending Lahore community welfare schools. THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS MONTH In developing countries, poor governance, discriminatory policies, corruption and lack of funding often result in severely overcrowded public schools, lack of adequate classroom materials, poorly trained teachers and/or millions of children not attending school at all. As we honour Human Rights Month, Spirit of Math recognizes the importance of providing teacher training and quality education as a fundamental human right for the betterment of society.

Gwendolyn Ledger Co-Founder of Spirit of Math Schools Inc.

During Human Rights Month, we encourage our students, parents, colleagues and other educators to reflect upon the basic human rights and freedoms that we often take for granted. As global citizens, we can use Human Rights Month to bring the issue of fair access to education to the forefront. It is through compassion, understanding, accountability and awareness that we can truly begin the process of change and hold our governments and large corporations accountable to providing education that is available, accessible, acceptable and adaptable to all citizens for the betterment of their communities. z

Read more about Spirit of Math’s community involvement at www.spiritofmath.com/community/ pg. 4


Problem Solvers of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow BY ANDREA ATHERLEY | GRADES 5 - 6 TEACHER We are living in a period of radical change. As a parent, I often wonder how to prepare my children to be successful in this new world where they will need to be able to critically evaluate new developments based on what has and hasn’t worked in the past and use this information to create innovative solutions. These are the very same skills required to solve challenging math problems. So, how do children become skilled at solving difficult math problems? Most students who are new to solving word problems need help getting started, but after gaining experience solving a variety of challenges, they will develop a ‘tool box’ of knowledge to draw on. This experience of success also gives them confidence to believe, “I can do it!” This is very important. As soon as a

questions, and think it over before doing any actual calculations. One student talked to herself for several minutes before she discovered the first step in the solution. • All of them also started by writing the vital information on a piece of paper. They didn’t write much: two or three numbers and a few symbols. Everything they wrote on the paper was neat and well organized (this was true even for

“A word of advice: Stay with the question. The more it troubles you, the more it has to teach you. In time, Maisie, you will find that the larger questions in life share such behavior." student believes that they are not able to solve a problem, they won’t. As parents we must be careful not to plant the seed of doubt. Children are sensitive to these messages, so if you find yourself thinking “there is no way my child can solve this!” put that thought away. Instead, prepare yourself to be surprised by what they can do. WHAT MAKES A GOOD PROBLEM SOLVER As a Spirit of Math Teacher, I have the privilege of collaborating with hard-working and talented students who have received national honours for their problemsolving abilities. In observing these students, I noticed that they know their number facts well (multiplication up to 9 x 9 and are fluent with addition) and often have friends or family members who are also excellent problem solvers. OBSERVATIONS: PROBLEM SOLVING IN THE CLASSROOM In my classroom I observe students who I know to be excellent problem solvers as they work through difficult problems, and have noticed several striking similarities in their approach to problem solving: • They all took quite a while to read the problem, ask DECEMBER 2017 ISSUE

students who struggle with handwriting). • Surprisingly they all made mistakes. Some made calculation errors, while one student used an unnecessarily cumbersome solution. The latter persisted even when things were going slowly until he got to the right answer. Students who made calculation errors caught and corrected most of them while they were still working through the problem. Finally, I asked what they do when they are really stuck on a question. They all said the same things: • Take a deep breath and check the question again: Am I doing it right? Did I copy the numbers correctly? • Think back or check my notes for questions I have done like this in the past. • Ask my friends, parents, or teacher for help. Recently, I was reading the novel Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Windspear and I came across these words to the main character from her teacher: “A word of advice: Stay with the question. The more it troubles you, the more it has to teach you. In time, Maisie, you will find that the larger questions in life share such behavior”. z pg. 5

SoM TIPS RECIPES Roast Beef with Mushroom Stuffing BY EMMA LEWIS | BBCGOODFOOD.COM Serve up a spectacular centrepiece of roast beef with a rich stuffing. INGREDIENTS: 25g dried porcini mushrooms 400g wild mushrooms 200g shallots knob of butter, plus extra for roasting 2 tbsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, crushed 2 thyme sprigs 1½ kg/3lb 5oz beef fillet SAUCE: 1 tbsp plain flour 3 tbsp brandy 400ml hot beef stock 2 tsp wholegrain mustard 2 tbsp crème fraîche Handful parsley chopped DIRECTIONS: 1. Tip the porcini into a bowl and pour over 250ml boiling water. Leave for 20 mins to soften and plump up, scoop out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and finely chop, then strain the liquid (leaving behind the last drop as it might contain grit) and set aside. 2. Set aside about half the wild mushrooms, choosing those with the best shape, then finely chop the remainder. Chop 1 shallot very finely. Heat a large frying pan, add the butter and 1 tbsp olive oil, then cook the chopped shallot and garlic over a medium heat for 3-5 mins until softened. Tip in the chopped porcini and stir around the pan for 2 mins. Add the chopped mushrooms to the frying pan along with the thyme sprigs. Cook for pg. 6

SoMSoM RECIPES TIPS 10 mins until lightly browned and any liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool. 3. Place the beef on a board. Take a sharp knife and make a slice lengthwise along the fillet, about onethird of the way down, so it folds out like a book. One side of the beef should now be thicker than the other. Make another lengthwise slice along the thick half of beef so the beef unfolds to a flat, evenly thick piece of meat, about the size of an A4 page. Spread the mushroom mixture all over the beef and season really well. Tightly roll up the beef to reform into a log and tie about 8 pieces of string around to secure well.

Roasted Stuffed Cauliflower BY SOPHIE GODWIN | BBCGOODFOOD.COM Need an alternative to nut roast for veggies and vegans on Christmas Day? Try this festive and filling cauliflower roast stuffed with kale and chestnuts. INGREDIENTS: 1 large or 2 small cauliflowers (about 850g) 5 tbsp olive oil

4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place a large heavy-based roasting tin over a high heat on the hob (ensure that it will fit in your oven beforehand). Heat some more butter and the other 1 tbsp oil in the tin, then fry the beef, turning every couple of mins, until well browned all over. This will take about 10 mins.

4 tbsp breadcrumbs

5. Tip the whole shallots into the tin around the beef and toss them in the oil. Roast for 20-25 mins for rare, 35 mins for medium and 45 mins for well done. If you have a thick piece of meat, it may take a little longer. Ten mins before the end of cooking, stir the whole mushrooms around the pan, coating well in the oil and juices, then leave to roast alongside the meat and shallots. Leave the meat to rest on a board for 10-15 mins and keep the vegetables warm in a serving dish while you make the sauce. 6. Place the tin back on the hob. Stir in the flour, mixing well into any oil in the pan, then very carefully pour over the brandy, making sure you don’t pour straight from the bottle. Use a small whisk to stir in the brandy, scraping up all the lovely browned bits from the tin. When the brandy has nearly boiled away, pour over the strained mushroom liquid and beef stock. Cook for about 5 mins until the liquid just coats the back of a spoon, then stir in the mustard and crème fraîche. Season, sprinkle with parsley and pour into a gravy boat. Cut the beef into thick slices and serve with the vegetables, gravy and some Parmesan puffs, if you like place onto prepared sheet pans leaving a few inches between them. Bake for 16-18 minutes until golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. z DECEMBER 2017 ISSUE


water and the linseed egg and blitz to a thick purée. Transfer to a piping bag. 4. Pipe the stuffing mixture into every nook and cranny of the cauliflower, getting in as much of the purée as you can – see our tip below. Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment. Can be made up to this point in the morning and kept in the fridge. 5. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the remaining chestnuts with the breadcrumbs and some seasoning. Spoon the remaining oil all over the cauliflower, then pat on the breadcrumb chestnut mix. Roast for 45 mins until golden brown and tender (place under a hot grill for the last part of cooking time if it needs to crisp-up). Serve with any crisp bits that have fallen onto the baking tray. z

1 tbsp milled linseed

Shortbread recipe

1 onion, chopped


2 garlic cloves, chopped

Bake these classic shortbread biscuits to wow a crowd. You only need four ingredients, but you can mix it up with lemon or orange zest, or try adding chopped pistachios.

250g kale, chopped

½ small pack sage leaves, chopped ½ small pack rosemary leaves, chopped 150g cooked chestnuts, chopped, 30g for topping 2 lemons zested

INGREDIENTS: 300g butter, softened

Grated nutmeg

140g golden caster sugar, plus 4 tbsp

DIRECTIONS: 1. Trim and discard the cauliflower leaves. Turn the cauliflower upside-down on a chopping board and use your knife to carefully cut out the stalk and core, leaving a cavity – the florets should still be holding together.

300g plain flour

2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Submerge the cauliflower and cook for 7 mins, then remove with two slotted spoons and set aside to steam dry. Add the kale to the pan and cook for a min or so until wilted. Drain, then run under cold water to cool. Squeeze out the excess liquid and roughly chop.

2. Tip in both the flours and a pinch of salt, then whizz until mixture comes together.

3. To make a linseed ‘egg’ (this will bind the stuffing together), mix the ground linseed with 3 tbsp water and set aside for 5-10 mins until gluey. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook until softened, then stir in the remaining stuffing ingredients, including the kale, and cook for a min or so more. Remove from the heat and season, then put in a blender with 150ml DECEMBER 2017 ISSUE

140g rice flour DIRECTIONS: 1. Place the butter and 140g sugar in a food processor and whizz until smooth.

3. Using your hands, roughly spread the mixture out in a 20 x 30 x 4cm baking tray. Cover with cling film and smooth over until there are no wrinkles. Place in the fridge, uncooked, for at least 30 mins and up to 2 days. 4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Remove cling film, then lightly mark the shortbread all over with a fork. 5. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar, then bake for 20-25 mins. 6. Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into 24 thin slices.. z pg. 7


Find the solutions on-line on our RTG NewsMagazine page at engage.spiritofmath.com

Heads & Legs Santa Clause is throwing a year-end thank you party for his reindeer and elves. If Santa counts 48 heads and 108 legs, how many reindeer attended Santa’s thank you party?

Did You Know?!

Sudoku Sizzlers

KFC is popular in Japan, and that X-mas is a Greek word?

Japanese people traditionally eat at “Kentucky Fried Chicken” KFC for Christmas dinner, thanks to a successful marketing campaign 40 years ago. KFC is so popular that customers must place their Christmas orders 2 months in advance.

We frequently abbreviate Christmas as X-mas because of ancient tradition. X is the Greek letter “chi” which is an abbreviation for the Greek word “Christ”. “25 Bizarre And Interesting Facts About Christmas” is published on-line at http://list25.com/25-bizarreinteresting-facts-christmas/ by David Pegg. pg. 8


Profile for Spirit of Math

RTG NewsMagazine | December 2017  

RTG NewsMagazine | December 2017