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Rethinking Algebra I

3 part strategy for revising Algbra I instruction at Rose High
by

Michael Flinchbaugh

on 1 August 2010

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Transcript of Rethinking Algebra I

What is the problem? Lower than desired proficiency scores.
Lower than expected growth scores.
Difficulty translating classroom success into test performance.
Teacher dissatisfaction. But why?
Course structure How can we structure course offerings to give students a chance to master content?
How do we identify which student needs to take which version of algebra?
How can we make algebra offerings coincide with 4-year graduation expectations? How Algebra is taught? Some assumptions: Didactic instruction is necessary.
Guided practice and independent practice are necessary.
Repetition is necessary.
The EOC is difficult.
The abstract nature of mathematics makes it particularly challenging to learn, apply and recall. Make it Problem-Based Begin each new concept with a real-life problem that creates an "uh-oh" frame of mind. Teach the concepts that will help students solve the problem. Have students to solve the problem using the algebra concepts they learned and practiced. What kind of problems?
We have to build a wheel chair ramp for Grandma's front porch, which is 2.5 ft. high. How long should it be?
I send about fifty text messages each week. What is the best cell phone plan for me to buy? Kinesthetic strategies:
Algebra is often used to calculate data in the physical world. The EOC asks questions about balls bouncing, measurement and vehicle velocity. Classes can put their hands on the mathematical concepts if they...
Go to the gym and bounce a basketball from the bleachers.
Take measurements in the classroom.
Measure an actual skid mark to determine vehicle speed. Why?
Connect the abstract with students' lives.
Help kinesthetic learners.
Create episodic memories. Test Preparation Part of the problem is that the textbook and the test are painfully different.
Textbook=problem, problem, problem.
Test=application, application, application Strategy 1:
Scaffold instruction in each lesson or chapter, so that the final stage includes application questions. Strategy 2:
Include EOC-style questions on every test and some quizzes. Strategy 3:
Help students learn to read and interpret EOC questions and master vocabulary terms. Rethinking Algebra I
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