RTG Education | Lifestyle | Recipes | Math Games | Did You Know?!
SoM recognizes Universal Children’s Day | pg. 2-3
Creating a positive culture through teamwork | pg. 5
Good managers require people skills not just tech skills | pg. 4
What’s for dessert? | pgs. 6-7
NOVEMBER 2017 ISSUE
Have fun figuring out this issue’s Block Busters, learning a fun fact about Pizza Pi and figuring out Sudoku Sizzlers | pg. 8
KIM’S KORNER Universal Children’s Day
KIMBERLEY LANGEN CEO & CO-FOUNDER
SPIRIT OF MATH SCHOOLS INC.
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. As a Canadian teacher, she 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 and is a member of Chatelaine’s W100 2015 List of Top Female Entrepreneurs, amongst her many mentions and awards.
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It was the 30th of July 2017 when I woke up to the beautiful sun streaming through the huge corner window – 6 a.m. in Lahore Pakistan. I gazed through the window. On the other side of the adjacent 7-foot brick wall, topped with barbed wire, were children playing in an empty lot. There was a boy and a girl who looked like they were 8 years old. They walked out onto the rough land, hand in hand laughing, when another little girl showed up – maybe their sister? She looked about 3 years old. No shoes. They all wanted to play – they found some garbage – some plastic – then together started playing with it. They put it onto the ground, crouched over it – oops! It flew away! They then found another piece of material. As I sat mesmerized with this scene I thought about the children who are “blessed” with being born into a wealthy family, who are constantly being stimulated with TV, the computer, or some other technology – would they be able to keep themselves occupied like these children? Would they be able to find happiness in such seemingly poor conditions? Children want to play with one another, to appreciate a friendship and to share their experiences. Children living in similar conditions described above reside throughout the world; not just in the emerging or underdeveloped worlds. In Canada, children of all economic levels sit side-by-side in their classes. They quickly learn that all peers help to improve their own understanding of the world, and that they need each other for growth and enjoyment. Often the greater the disparity, the more the children learn from each other. Children who have very little material objects in their lives, can be stimulated in a different way, which could develop a uniquely different ingenuity. When children are given a chance to work as a diverse team to solve a question that initially looks like it is impossible to solve, humility is learned, and so is the acceptance of others. In December 1954, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared that all countries observe Universal Children’s Day on November 20th to remember the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. This declaration sets out children’s rights to life, health, education, to play, to family life, and to be protected from violence, not to be discriminated and to have their views heard. The UN asked all countries to observe this as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. We often work in “bubbles” of similar people and expose our children to the same “bubbles”. During the month of November, I encourage everyone to take one day to observe as Universal Children’s day, and to share it with their children by venturing outside the “bubbles” Let’s work together to increase the understanding between children globally. z Spirit of Math® is a thought leader, influencer, change maker and an authoritative voice in higher education. Spirit of Math (SoM) is an exclusive Canadian after-school preparatory 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 7,800 students, impressing peers and faculty across 40+ campuses throughout Canada, in the United States and now in Pakistan. The unique curriculum challenges and enhances students’ problem-solving strategies 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. NOVEMBER 2017 ISSUE
SoM NEWS Teaching Our Youth To Work Together Globally “The current young generation will face new challenges and problems that history has never seen before. That’s why we need to build a stronger and more united generation.” When children come together, wonderful things can be accomplished. Christopher Yao believes in this so much, that when he was just 10-years-old, he founded Kids Change the World (KCTW). KCTW is a youth-led American non-profit organization dedicated to harnessing the power of youth to work together and tackle some of the world’s largest issues. The group’s philosophy is to empower youth around the world to collaborate, by introducing them to the importance of individuality, uniqueness and different perspectives as drivers of change.
accomplished when a group of students with the same goals come together to solve math problems. Such lessons help students to become not only team players but also critical and creative thinkers to help them solve everyday life issues. “Working through difficult problems starts first by struggling through them on your own; but after a little while, you will need to ask someone else for some help,” explains Kimberley Langen, CEO and Co-Founder, Spirit of Math Schools Inc. “Learning to use the ideas from other bright people, will generate an explosion of new ways to thinking, and consolidate well thought-out, logical and realistic ideas.” Universal Children’s Day teaches our youth that the collaboration of minds around the world is the key to global success. Click here to learn how you can celebrate Universal Children’s Day in the classroom or at home. z
November 19th Is Guinness World Record Day! “Young people have the powerful ability to change the world today,” writes Christopher in a Huffington Post column. “The current young generation will face new challenges and problems that history has never seen before. That’s why we need to build a stronger and more united generation.” The overwhelming energy of what can be accomplished when different minds come together is powerful and dynamic; breaking down barriers to achieve a common goal regardless of race, nationality, culture, religion or beliefs. The cooperative component of Spirit of Math’s curriculum serves as an example of the tremendous collaboration and impressive teamwork that can be NOVEMBER 2017 ISSUE
Did you know that on November 18, 2015 in Gävle, Sweden, 3,611 students participated in the world’s largest math class!? Gathering at a hockey stadium, attending a lesson on Singaporean mathematics teaching practices in what was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Largest Math Lesson.” On November 19th, Guinness World Record Day is recognized along with the amazing achievements in the internationally recognized book of records. Some of the fun feats from the 2018 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records includes Cherry Yohitake’s record, from Japan, of bobbing for 37 apples in one minute and the world’s largest tape ball weighing 2,000 pounds. pg. 3
SoM NEWS When Interpersonal Skills Matter In The Workplace Although technical skills and work experience are important to employers, we’re learning quickly that in management roles, people skills are just as important. Now that workforces are becoming increasingly automated and soughtafter skills are technology-driven, employers are realizing that employees who also posses good interpersonal skills are those who are being considered for leadership roles. Employees who rate highly with interpersonal skills tend to be more effective at managing people and can naturally promote a teamwork environment, inspire confidence in their employees and influence an effective, efficient and happy workplace. In a 2016 survey conducted by the Business Council of Canada (BCC), hiring managers from varying industries were asked what skills they value most when evaluating entry-level candidates. The results of the survey indicated a that people skills was high on the list. Respondents to the BCC survey indicated that people skills such as collaboration, cooperation, problem-solving and communication were among the sought-after qualities in a candidate along with technical skills and industry experience. When equipped with the required technical skills, an individual who also possesses a strong interpersonal skillset will stand out from the crowd in a big way.
in the fields of STEM, then they must not only place a high value on learning STEM, they must also hone their interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills cannot be fulfilled by machines. Although automation and technology can drive our cars for us now, they still lack the personal touch as they are still not able to converse with clients, lead or work collaboratively with teams, show compassion, or hold themselves accountable for their work. z
November 21st Is Entrepreneur’s Day!
The Spirit of Math after-school math enrichment program for high-performing and gifted students, integrates the learning of interpersonal skills as a critical part of its weekly classes. Such skills include:
Imagine if all of the everyday products and services we love and use frequently, and make our lives faster, easier and tastier, all disappeared one day. Seems dismal just thinking about it.
PROBLEM SOLVING & STRATEGIC THINKING The ability to effectively and efficiently solve a situation or problem. This helps students to become more creative and much more self-confident in their approach.
Most of these amazing products and services that we take for granted almost daily were created by a person with an idea that turned into an empire. Employing hundreds if not thousands of people, we owe a lot to such small and large businesses.
COLLABORATION & COMMUNICATION The ability to work productively and seamlessly with others through clear and courteous communication. Knowing how to do something and explaining to others how to do it are two different things that students learn in team settings, says Svitlana from the Education Standards Department at Spirit of Math. Working in small team settings allows students to build confidence and take risks while they share their thoughts. STEM has become an increasing amongst employers. If students desire to become leaders and decision makers pg. 4
Entrepreneur’s Day was created in 2010 by David Hauser and Siamak Taghaddos, co-founders of Grasshopper, and Amir Tehrani, entrepreneur and co-founder of The Legacy Foundation. Entrepreneur’s Day which falls on the last day of Global Entrepreneurship Week was created to honour innovative business owners by showing gratitude and respect to the many successful men and women who achieved their entrepreneurial dreams by creating successful businesses. NOVEMBER 2017 ISSUE
SoM TIPS Cooperative Teamwork Creates A Positive Culture BY JOANNA KWAN | CURRICULUM ASSOCIATE Our Spirit of Math program consists of four elements: drills, problem solving, core curriculum and cooperative teamwork which work together seamlessly. Each element complements one another which makes our program unique and strong. Our drills system is strongly linked with cooperative teamwork, because SoM students are encouraged to work towards the class average goal and not just their personal goal. Students learn that everyone’s contribution is important and therefore they work hard together and know they are accountable for one-another. They use the class average graph to keep track of their team progress. The Problem solving, core curriculum , and cooperative teamwork elements also work closely together to reinforce one another. In groups, students work on challenging competition-level math problems that require them to read carefully, reason mathematically, and think critically, as well as creatively. Our teachers are trained to make intentional choices – group size, team composition, classroom set up, etc. that sets the stage for successful teamwork. Cooperative teamwork is also the norm among our teachers as they regularly plan lessons together and give feedback to each other.
TEACH YOUR CHILD INTERPERSONAL SKILLS AND LET THEM PRACTICE There are many skills involved when working with others, they are called interpersonal skills or people skills. Some of these skills include speaking clearly and confidently with others, listening carefully and actively, being assertive, understanding others’ perspectives, and more. Find teachable moments in their everyday life that will teach such skills explicitly. Give them many opportunities to practice, and give them feedback and encouragement during such teachable moments. There are enormous benefits for cooperative teamwork, such as students’ engagement, better academic achievement, positive attitude towards learning and more. I believe the best benefit of all, is that children gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for one another through their cooperative team experience which in turn prepares them to be effective future leaders for the betterment of humankind. z
HERE ARE SOME TIPS ON HOW PARENTS/GUARDIANS CAN FOSTER COOPERATIVE TEAMWORK AT HOME: SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR CHILD Children need to know that they are expected to work with others. Foster their individual accountability as well as their teamwork accountability. Not only is this quality important in learning, it’s also an admired personal quality and will help them to succeed later in their careers. MAKE LEARNING THE KEY FOCUS FOR YOUR CHILD Teach your child that learning should always be their key focus. Some high-performing or gifted students believe such things like: “I am too SMART to ask questions, I JUST need to copy the answer.” “I know it ALL! I am not sharing my answers.” When children are reminded to focus on learning, they are empowered to ask questions, share solutions and take the risks that are necessary for higher learning. NOVEMBER 2017 ISSUE
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: 1. How can teachers and parents model a deeper understanding and appreciation of cooperative teamwork for the next generation? 2. What challenging problems require cooperation amongst people or nations? 3. How can you contribute to advance cooperation locally and/or globally? pg. 5
SoM TIPS LIFESTYLE Hidden Zucchini Chocolate Loaf BY DOROTHY FRANIEL | SoM PARENT This is the best recipe from cooks.com for a moist chocolate cake that packs well for lunches.
Mom’s Survival Cookies BY KARIN TREIBERG | SoM PARENT I thought I would share a popular recipe in our household where we deal with a child that cannot eat gluten, dairy, egg, or refined sugars (you can imagine the challenges). This recipe was adapted from an amalgamation of various recipes in an attempt to come close to recreating a cookie that had been a favourite prior to the food restrictions. It ends up being a great one to take to school events as it is very allergen friendly. INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour 1 cup gluten free rolled oats 1/2 cup maple sugar or coconut sugar 1 teaspoon kosher salt
INGREDIENTS: 2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sunflower butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup hot espresso
2 cups white sugar (I use a bit less)
1 1/2 cups of vegan dark chocolate chips
2 cups grated raw zucchini
1 cup chopped dates
3 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3 cups ﬂour 1 teaspoon nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice
DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment.
1 teaspoon baking soda
2. In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients.
1 teaspoon baking powder
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine the coconut oil and sunflower butter.
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional) DIRECTIONS: 1. Beat eggs, then add sugar, oil, zucchini, vanilla and water. Mix sifted dry ingredients into ﬁrst mixture. Add chocolate chips. 2. Bake at 325°F for 1 hour. I tell my picky kids this is chocolate chip cake, and they don’t even know the zucchini is hidden within. Great to send for snacks in their lunches. 3. Yield: 2 loaves or a 9x13 pan. z pg. 6
1/2 cup coconut oil
4. Add the dry ingredients and the hot coffee and combine until fluffy. 5. On low speed add in the chocolate, dates and seeds and mix well. 6. Scoop cookie dough, making balls by hand and 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. These also freeze well. z NOVEMBER 2017 ISSUE
SoM LIFESTYLE SoM TIPS Lebanese Spiced Rice Pudding/Meghli BY NADIA JOSEPH | SoM PARENT This is a delicious gluten free Lebanese dessert that my entire family enjoys; served either warm or cold. The taste of cinnamon and spices reminds me of the holidays. It’s easy to make and delicious to share.
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup of rice flour
Moist Banana Bread BY ABIGAIL FROST | SoM PARENT One of my favourite desserts to always have on hand. I sometimes spread butter on it for breakfast and sometimes just eat it on its own. Either way it’s delicious and my kids love it.
1 cup of sugar
INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup butter
7 glasses of water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon of caraway powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
4 bananas, finely crushed
1/2 tablespoon of anise powder
1 1⁄2 cups flour
1/3 cup of grated coconut (topping if desired)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup of blanched almonds (topping if desired)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup of peeled pistachios (topping if desired)
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup of pine nuts (topping if desired)
1/8 cup crushed walnuts (optional)
DIRECTIONS: 1. Soak the grated coconut, almonds, pistachios and pine nuts in cold water and dry with a cloth.
DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 350º.
2. Put the rice flour, caraway, cinnamon, anise, sugar and water in a saucepan and boil. (Stir regularly, bring to a boil) 3. Cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes. 4. Pour into small individual bowls or one big serving bowl and let cool.
2. Cream together butter and sugar. 3. Add eggs and crushed bananas. 4. Combine well. 5. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Add vanilla. 6. Add walnuts. Mix until combined. Do not over-mix.
5. Garnish with grated coconut nuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds.
7. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan.
6. Serve warm or refrigerate to serve cold. z
9. Keeps well, refrigerated. z
NOVEMBER 2017 ISSUE
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.
Find the solutions on-line on our RTG NewsMagazine page at engage.spiritofmath.com
Block Busters This structure was built so that it continued in the same pattern creating a pyramid of 20 layers. How many blocks would you need to use for the bottom layer?
Did You Know?!
The word Pizza is based on a mathematical equation... A pizza that has radius “z” and height “a” has volume Pi × z × z × a.
Solution: The area of a circle is Pi multiplied by the radius squared (which can be written out as Pi × z × z). Then you multiply by the height to get the total volume. “23 Fascinating Maths Facts You’ll Probably Never Need To Use” is published on-line at buzzfeed.com by Kelly Oakes.
NOVEMBER 2017 ISSUE