Thursday, November 10, 2011

Old math, new math, discrete math, math 1,2,3,4: imprudent math curriculum decisions?

News from AIC as of this morning: DeKalb County is switching to discrete math classes effective January 2012. Pending board approval, plans are in motion to move everyone in the county to 100% discrete courses in January. That means no Math 1/2/3/4.

What does this mean to your child? We see 3 big areas of impact:
 
EOCT: Your kid will take the discrete EOCT in May. This test has never been administered. Certainly, it does not need mentioning that the first administration of a new EOCT requires adjustment. The first classes to take them are guinea pigs. In 2009, the first Mathematics I EOCT was given and the state threw out all the scores. Students never even got score reports. With the graduation test going away and the EOCT coming in as the graduation test replacement, we are in no position to reduce a child's chances of graduating (because of something out of the kid's control).
 
Textbooks: The McDougal Littell textbooks that were already a poor match for the curriculum will be even worse matches, The spring curriculum is designed as a transition time, so your kid will be taking a blended integrated/discrete class (never to be taught again, presumably). The folks from the county are suggesting that teachers in a building swap books out as the discrete course moves from material in the Mathematics I book to material in the Mathematics II book. Until new resources are purchased or created (the state has produced a very excellent EOCT study guide for free -- no such guide exists for discrete courses yet), we are up the proverbial creek.
 
Teacher readiness: Teachers have zero planning days (and in fact, a furlough on Jan 3) to prepare for a new curriculum. A major complaint of the integrated curriculum was that teachers didn't have enough training in the teaching of GPS integrated material. Your child's teacher will have 0 training, 0 time to prepare, and 0 resources provided by the county. The official word is that teachers have to "help each other out".

The meeting this morning over at AIC stressed that this announcement is pending board approval. Is it a good idea to foist this change on teachers in November? A mid-year switch is HUGE. There is no planning time on the calendar. When are teachers supposed to get ready to teach a mostly-different set of topics in the spring? This would be hard enough for teachers on the block, but what about those that teach a 7-period day and therefore teach the same math course to the same students all year?

Should the board approve this idea to switch the math curriculum mid-year? Let's discuss and then we'll share our thoughts with the board.

41 comments:

Dunwoody Mom said...

Can this really be true? I cannot believe anyone would advocate switching courses mid-year. This makes absolutely no sense.

Anonymous said...

This makes about as much sense as the last epic fail math program that arithmetically crippled thousands of DeKalb students.

The silver lining in this charlie foxtrot is math tutors will have more clients than they can handle!

Maybe this math program was part of Obama's jobs package...hmmmm

Anonymous said...

I just can't handle the comedy/tragedy that is mathematics in DCSS...and I never post such cynical comments...but as a former math teacher with young children, I cannot fathom sending my kids through a program that changes on a whim.

I feel such compassion for the students. How exactly do you explain this to college admissions officers? Good grief.

Cerebration said...

Mark Your Calendar:

The DeKalb Council of PTAs is holding a legislative forum on November 17 at 7 p.m. at the Board of Education complex at 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain, GA 30083.

Members of the DeKalb County Legislative Delegation will be present to speak with parents about educational issues. Legislators who have confirmed their attendance are Rep. Scott Holcomb, Rep. Pam Stephenson, Rep. Simone Bell, Rep. Rahn Mayo, Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, Rep. Elena Parent, Rep. Billy Mitchell, Sen. Steve Hensen and Sen. Ron Ramsey.

Anonymous said...

OMG, no, no, no! This makes NO sense! Change it next fall, not in the middle of the year! From a selfish viewpoint, my son is a junior and doing very well in math. I was excited that he would be able to take calculus next year and not worry about having to switch from integrated to discrete. I cannot believe they would switch it mid-year! Did they not learn anything when they went to integrated math in the first place and switched it on 8th graders in the middle of the year. Anon 3:17 - you are right - 100%. I'm emailing the board NOW!!!

Anonymous said...

If Atkinson allows this to happen, than she is not a leader and is being paid way too much money. I ask, when will the district put the children first. Right now, time needs to be taken to see what is really needed and not decisions off the cuff.

Administrators wonder why parents don't want to send their children to DCSS, and this is a prime example.

Anonymous said...

So is Ron Ramsey attending as a state senator or as the head of DCSS Internal Affairs, a dept. that is so functional that the last permanent Supt. and COO were indicted for criminal enterprise?




The DeKalb Council of PTAs is holding a legislative forum on November 17 at 7 p.m. at the Board of Education complex at 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain, GA 30083.

Members of the DeKalb County Legislative Delegation will be present to speak with parents about educational issues. Legislators who have confirmed their attendance are Rep. Scott Holcomb, Rep. Pam Stephenson, Rep. Simone Bell, Rep. Rahn Mayo, Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, Rep. Elena Parent, Rep. Billy Mitchell, Sen. Steve Hensen and Sen. Ron Ramsey.

No Duh said...

I'm thrilled DCSS is committing to discreet Math. However, I don't see how they can switch mid-year on students that are well along the Math I, II, III path.

I will say, that the Accelerated Discreet Algebra/Geometry class our freshman is taking really is nothing more than Math I units taught in a different order. So, will DCSS go back to REALLY teaching discreet math subjects? We'll see.

But, it's time to stop the experiment of mish mash math. So, overall, I am thrilled.

Anonymous said...

This is really bizzare. If I were a parent, I would want to know if this mid-year conversion is to re-align the high school curriculum with the anticipated rollout of the Common Core Standards? Will it work smoothly for both block and 7 period schedules?

Also, parents should be aware that "discrete math" is stil not a return to the traditional course sequence of algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and calculus. As No Duh pointed out, I have heard that it is still very much an integrated math.

Anonymous said...

For tradional schedule schools, the students transcripts will have Math I for one semester and Algebra the second semester. If I was a college admissions person, I would be asking what happened. Looks really strange on a transcript.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:58 Great point! I hope that this doesn't screw up the kids chances of getting into a great school.

Anonymous said...

What does this change mean for 8th graders? Will they get the option to take algebra 1 second semester and take the algebra EOCT? That would allow those students who would have taken algebra in 8th grade on the old math plan a chance to get back on that track and take geometry in 9th grade. That would be great!

Daniel said...

Students don't actually have to pass EOCT to graduate. Students who are currently 10th-12th grade pass either the GHSGT or one of the two content area tests (so, for example, if a junior received a passing score on his biology EOCT, he won't even sit for the Science GHSGT). With this year's freshmen, they don't even have to pass the tests to graduate. The tests will count 20% instead of 15%, but passing the test isn't actually a graduation requirement

Anonymous said...

After all the math experimentation my fellow seniors of 2012 went through, DCSS comes up with ANOTHER abomination of a plan. Really now? No thank you Dekalb! How about you board "folks" come back to Earth before our motivation for graduating is completely gone. Oh yea, just a little hint, you have LOST YOUR MINDS, GO AND FIND THEM. HURRY UP! CHOP CHOP!

Anonymous said...

The State of Georgia mandated Math I etc. DeKalb had no alternative but to follow the mandate as did every other school sytem in Georgia. Then the state of Georgia said you could do the old way too and DeKalb followed that. Now the state of Georgia is about to drop the new and return to the old. If the new didn't work why visit it on our students any longer than we have to? There were many gripes on this blog about the new math cirriculum and courses and pleas to return to the old. Now we are and guess what? There are still many gripes. By the way the new common core math in the old format is more demanding and rigorous.

Math Mom said...

Hard to tell how much math craziness is coming from DCSS and how much from the state. See this implementation plan from the state: http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/Secondary%20Mathematics%20CCGPS%20Implementation%20Plan.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371F6BC21D4C5CAE83B1941B824781DA81B15D0FF6544518C74AB&Type=D

But whatever the course names, it appears that Georgia students will be still covering more topics than in the good ole days because statistics will be mixed into the high school algebra and geometry courses. And the real problems won't be fixed until the county becomes more concerned about the end goal of building mastery than about means such as the standard of the day, word walls, and (bad) benchmarks.

Parents, be aware how much math your child is not learning, and work with your children at home to make sure they end up knowing at least as much math as you do. "South Dekalb" wrote a great blog piece on this: http://southdekalb.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/math-anyone/

I'm a North Dekalb parent, and I also have seen that even in well-regarded schools, even among accelerated students who earn excellent grades, there can be an astonishing lack of math mastery. A student might be able to pass a test on the current topic, but does not remember topics taught in previous courses. It all builds, and the things a student doesn't know are going to bite when he or she gets to chemistry, physics, calculus - and college.

Can your elementary schoolers add, subtract, multiply, and divide? Have they memorized their "math facts" (addition/subtraction/multiplication/division tables)? Can they calculate easily how much change is due when purchasing a $3.95 item with a $5.00 bill?

Can your middle schoolers add/subtract/multiply/divide fractions and decimals, and convert between fractions, percentages, and decimals, or between improper fractions and mixed numbers? Can they find areas and perimeters of rectangles, triangles, and circles? (Those were 5th grade topics.) Do they understand proportions? Can they calculate sales tax or a tip?

Can your high schoolers work with exponents and radicals? Solve simple algebra equations in one variable? Systems of equations? Can they apply the Pythagorean Theorem? The GPS standards say they covered much of this in middle school. And if they've had Math 2, can they solve quadratic equations? Can they STILL do arithmetic through fractions and percents?

It is socially acceptable in our culture to excuse ourselves from being able to do math. "I'm just not good at math." "I have a degree in ____ and a great career but I have never used (insert name of math class)." I partially agree; I think Kathy Cox should not have increased the amount of math required for a high school diploma. The curriculum has become wide at the expense of depth and mastery.

But don't excuse your child from learning. As "South Dekalb" points out, it was normal for previous generations to master elementary and middle school math skills, at least. Too many of our children do not, unless they have vigilant parents. You must reinforce basic math skills at home.

Found links to the standards for the "new" new state math courses here.

http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/ci_services.aspx?PageReq=CIServMath

I'll leave it to someone else to compare the "CCGPS" standards to the "GPS" Math 1/2/3 standards, which you can still find elsewhere by Googling.

Cerebration said...

There are teachers who really like the 1,2,3 math. However, we've learned that in order to teach that way, you must go through some rigorous training, which was never provided. So, I think we all agreed that going back is what people want. However, the question remains, should this be done mid-year? Especially when the board has virtually wiped out all planning time? It's not nice of the board, IMO, to tie teacher's hands and then ask them to prepare for a major change. No one is really certain how this will effect student transcripts either. Perhaps some college admissions professionals could weigh in?

Anonymous said...

I wish they would stop calling these courses 'discrete math.' Discrete math is a branch of mathematics that has nothing to do with what is going on here. It bothers me that the math education 'experts' who have been throwing around the term 'discrete math' don't realize what it means.

No Duh said...

I really hope by eliminating some of the "choices" students had (do you want to take GPS Algebra? Math I? Accelerated GPS Algebra/Geometry?, etc) schools will be able to free up enough math resources (i.e. teachers) to go back to the days when classes were assigned by skill level.

Teachers hate having classrooms filled with students of all skill levels. It is only an IDEAL that teachers are differentiating instruction in these classrooms. The reality is, the teachers must teach to the lowest level of ability in the classroom because if their students fail, they are blamed. Sure, the lower level achieving students may feel better about themselves sitting next to the higher achieving students, but none of them are getting the instruction they deserve.

Anonymous said...

DeKalb's problems with teaching math go way back. I paid for tutoring when my daughter was in middle school because she didn't have those skills that Math Mom talks about. Those skills are absolutely necessary for a student to do well in math.

A good teacher can make all the difference. We need to be sure that elementary school teachers have a good college math background. You can't teach something that you don't understand yourself.

The basics that children learn in elementary school are the foundation for those high school math classes. If your child is struggling with math, the time to get help is now. The problem will only get worse over time.

Anonymous said...

I teach math in DeKalb. Before you applaud a switch "back" to "traditional" math classes, look carefully at the content in the new GPS classes.

I'm guessing, that meany readers' kids are in Accelerated classes. Check out the title of the 9th grade course: Accelerated GPS Algebra/Geometry (http://bit.ly/AccelGPSAlgGeo)
and the content:
* function notation
* solving quadratic, radical, and rational equations
* complex numbers
* piecewise functions
* triangle congruence
* special quadrilaterals
* circles & spheres
* data analysis and probability

What's discrete about this? (and I agree that the state should never have called these courses "discrete" because that term already has a different meaning in mathematics)

If your kid is in the "regular" track, here's what they will encounter in the so-called discrete courses (it's a little more compartmentalized than the Accelerated track):GPS Algebra is meant to be taught in 9th grade (http://bit.ly/GPSAlgebra) and includes
* function notation
* solving quadratic, radical, and rational equations
* complex numbers
* data analysis and probability

The above material has been taught in Math 1 and Math 2 for the last several years. The discrete courses have the exact same standards, simply reordered.

--TechieMathTeacher

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 8:43

Am I understanding you that this may only be renaming and re sequencing for those with kids in the accelerated tract?

If that is the case, than is a mid-year switch anything more than also a mere flipping around of what chapters are delivered when? Does the child really lose? Dose the already trained teacher really need the planning days? Could not we simply be making sure that the order of delivery to the students matches appropriately the test that they will be taking--i.e. fixing a prior administration's testing screw-up?

Depending upon your answers here--a mid-year change may be perfectly appropriate and the best way of not making our kids look like AYP roadkill again this year, like last.

momofthree said...

How was this information announced? I see nothing on Dekalb County site or on Board agenda for Monday (11/14). Five years ago my daughter was part of the switch during mid-year math debacle. This change may just be a re-pacing/re-sequencing, but a huge point is that it is inconceivable to me that a mid year change be made 1 month before school is out for the semester. How could any Board Member support this plan (or more to the point - how could anyone suggest this plan!)

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is many DCSS students will find themselves unprepared for college mathematics. That is to say, they will have to take some REMEDIAL math courses prior to taking college algebra, analytic geometry, and calculus. Many teachers are "unqualified" to be teaching as reported on Channel 2 Action News on Nov. 7th. Just because one can do some basic arithmetic does NOT qualify them to teach "mathematics." We can let computers do the COUNTING for us, so there's a vast distinction between arithmetic and mathematics. You have to be able to teach concepts needed for a student to build the necessary building blocks to learn more advanced math. For example, a student cannot appreciate radicals w/o fully understanding exponents. A kid has to understand and appreciate what a function is in order to prepare for differential and integral calculus. I subbed for a Gen Ed math class and the kids were learning the slope of a line on the Cartesian coordinate plane. Plotting a bunch of points and calculating the changes in Y and X is all they knew with ZERO APPLICATION. I stopped the class after realizing this, and gave them the example of the Space Shuttle coming in for landing--to get them to VISUALIZE in the real-world what this m (slope)really means besides the RISE over the RUN. I went into the LIFT and DRAG forces any pilot is concerned with--using the eraser to simulate the Space Shuttle landing on the slope of a line against a coordinate plane I drew on whiteboard. I told those students that day, if you don't master these concepts, you will be lost when you walk into a Calculus I course and the professor covers the limit theorem (of which in my estimation 90% will have no clue).

I'm a Special Ed Para in a middle school (on sabbatical who is more than QUALIFIED) who sees little motivation in most classrooms. In other words, I don't think you have STRONG ENOUGH teachers teaching math that can motivate your children as to where they are going and why. To wit: future scientists, mathematicians, and engineers falling thru the cracks of DCSS. If you don't know and understand how mathematics prepares young children HOW TO THINK LOGICALLY AND CRITICALLY, you are not in a position to teach it nor advise anyone on a math curriculum. Let me share another encounter I had with a student. On my break, I took 30 minutes with a kid who was having difficulty understanding probability. I quickly assessed he had no grasp of fractions & decimals. I took the next 10-15 minutes to explain the rudiments. I used real-world examples that he could immediatly apply in his life. I saw the light come on in his head. He appoached me a few times during breakfast to say thank you, and that noone explained math to him that way. I gave him some things to google as motivation to continue his studies of probability: n-factorial, permutations (arrangements), combinations (selections), and probabililty and statistics in general. I gave him an assignment to compute the odds of winning the lottery--and which games have the best odds to win. I told him, "When you've got that down, you've learned just a little bit about probability, and how to keep your money in your pocket," But adding that there are so many other aspects in applying probablity. Since this kid liked basketball, I gave him an example using Shaquille O'Neal. Would you want Shaq in the game shooting at the freethrow line (with knowledge of his poor shooting stats at the charity stripe)? He replied, "No! because the probability is less than 50% that he would make the shots there." I said, "Exactly! Now you understand." He said, "Yes sir." The next day I challenged him with a deck of cards and a series of questions, which he ACED.

shark bait said...

I don't think it is ever about teaching the students the best material in the best way so they can be masters of anything... It's about teaching the students enough so they can pass the Jerry-rigged CRCT tests.

Anonymous said...

This is a horrible idea and while the kids don't need to pass the EOCT for graduation, it is used for AYP status. Dekalb has to wait until August to go with the changes and then only for RISING ninth graders.

Please go to the school board meeting and have people email school board reps, this is horrible

Mom99 said...

I would be happy to see the change for the kids in 8th grade taking Math 1...go ahead and finish up with Algebra. That way they will be on track for AP Calc and Ap Stat. Not sure what effect it will have on my 11th grader who is on the block and will have math next semester. This change may be good for some and not so good for others...

Math Mom said...

Georgia math is very confusing because there are three "new" curricula within six years. First we got the "integrated" GPS Math 1-2-3-4 courses. We are currently changing to the "discrete" GPS Algebra/Geometry/Advanced Algebra/Pre-Calculus courses. Soon we'll introduce the CCGPS "common core" courses.

The "discrete" GPS courses look to be the same as the "integrated" GPS courses, but with the topics reordered. This is clear from the numbering of the standards for the "discrete" courses. Standards starting with "MM1" were taken from Math 1, "MM2" from Math 2, and so forth. For example, the first item in the GPS Algebra standards is MM2N1, from Math 2 item MM2N1. The second item is MM1A1, from Math 1.

According to an implementation plan on the state webpage, the CCGPS high school courses will roll out beginning with the class of 2016, starting in 9th grade in 2012-2013. The Georgia DOE says "The Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) for mathematics was one of the state curricula used to inform the creation of the CCSS for mathematics. So, it is no surprise that 90% of the GPS align with the CCSS. Therefore, when Georgia teachers are teaching GPS mathematics, in essence they are teaching CCSS mathematics. The rigor and relevance, as well as the balance of skills, concepts, and problem solving found in GPS mathematics is mirrored in the CCSS."

In any case, the state is not going back to the pre-2006 math courses.

The state's CCGPS math webpage is at http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/ci_services.aspx?PageReq=CIServMath

If anybody is looking for the old GPS Math 1/2/3/4 standards to see how they line up with the new standards, they are still available at https://www.georgiastandards.org/standards/Georgia%20Performance%20Standards/Forms/Math%20View.aspx

BTW, Anon 1:49, I wish more of our children had the opportunity to learn from staff like you.

Anonymous said...

@Mom99 I cannot believe that DeKalb county, with its long history of poor math scores, is still teaching high school math on 4X4 block schedules. At least switch to a hybrid schedule where students take courses for the full year, though perhaps not every day.

Anonymous said...

I have too many points to make to put all in one reply. Allow me to break this up.

To help see who I am, I wrote to Cere with the story and am Anonymous 8:43. I teach math in the county.

@Anonymous 12:54, first of all, the majority of teachers in the county do *not* teach accelerated students. For "the 99%", so to speak, we were trained in Math 1 and the reordering of standards means we will be teaching Math 2 content (for instance).

For the parents who demanded this change, the only kids who will see a significant difference are those in "regular" math, not accelerated. I'm betting that the most vocal parents in demanding the change to traditional math courses disproportionately represent the accelerated students.

The irony is that you who demanded traditional courses may soon have kids enrolled in accelerated courses that are neither traditional nor what the teacher expected to be teaching.

I'm also aware that no parents probably meant to have the district switch things up mid-year.

For the teachers, the "regular" math 1/2/3/4 ones are getting screwed here (and consequently their students). We have huge changes to make mid-year, teaching units of study with which we only have a passing familiarity and resources. Trust me, I have plenty of math content knowledge and it's not the content the teachers are worried about. What am I complaining about? For one, our new course will contain 2 algebra units formerly taught in math 2. I don't have tests, quizzes, practice problems, or projects created for math 2.

Because I haven't been notified of this switch officially, I'm in limbo. The county has committed to creating modified pacing for the switch from traditional to discrete courses. They have not released what these conversion courses will contain -- I cannot plan for the new content because the county hasn't told me what it is yet.

--TechieMathTeacher

Anonymous said...

@Mom99, some schools on a block schedule teach mathematics paired with mathematics support so that we can teach yearlong block mathematics, even on a block.

For those not familiar, here are the types of schedules in DeKalb:
* a 6 or 7 period traditional day where math is taught yearlong
* a block yearlong course where credits are given in math & math support
* a block single semester course where credit is awarded only in math

--TechieMathTeacher

Anonymous said...

@Math Mom hit the nail on the head when she said "The "discrete" GPS courses look to be the same as the "integrated" GPS courses, but with the topics reordered."

Here's a 30,000 foot view:

GPS Algebra contains the algebra units from math 1 and math 2 plus the statistics unit from math 1. This course looks a lot like the second half of algebra 1 and the first half of algebra 2.

GPS Geometry contains the geometry units from math 1 and 2 plus the statistics unit from math 2. This kind of resembles a geometry course.

GPS Advanced Algebra contains the algebra, geometry, and statistics from math 3. This class looks a lot like a pre-calculus & trig class and is nearly identical to math 3.

--TechieMathTeacher

Daniel said...

I can say how 2 different 4x4 block schools are doing things.... Southwest DeKalb is teaching Math Support (I,II,III) this semester and, well now GPS Algebra, GPS Geometry, etc 2nd semester (it was going to be Math I, II, III) so the change isn't affecting them too much. I spoke with a math teacher from Dunwoody who said that they will move one unit into the fall semester that would have been covered in Spring if the change wasn't occurring so the transition won't be as bad as people are worrying about here.... the one thing that will be an issue is the fact that the courses will need both of the Math I and Math II books so there will be some logistics that will have to be solved there.

Cerebration said...

Thanks TechieMathTeacher - we will certainly keep an eye on this story and I hope you will continue to report what is going on so that parents can understand and prepare.

It's like the sign says on the side of the barn at the Spruill Center for the Arts, "Everything will be OK". Communication and preparation are key. I would encourage the administration to at least reinstate a couple of planning days for the math teachers effected by this change. They certainly deserve to be paid to make this happen.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so it seems that many of the readers are in uproar over the proposed changes to the math curriculum.

As "TechieMathTeacher" stated, the GPS Adv. Algebra and Math 3 are nearly identical. Also note that the same is true for GPS PreCalculus and Math 4. The real problem arises in Math 1&2, where teachers will have to restructure the units in several different ways to account for all the different scenarios for DCSS math programs for students.

I believe this change was inevitable, although surely not expected for the middle of a school year. Unfortunately, we teachers, are the ones most dramatically affected by the changes. Parents will,of course, voice concerns over the changes. However, I don't think most parents fully understand how this may impact their child's education. Overall, the impact will be beneficial for students. Why?

1)Because most colleges still have to "translate" Math 1/2/3/4 into the discrete labels when they look at transcripts;
2) we're getting a head start on the inevitable switch to discrete courses and Common Core Standards (CCGPS);
3)EOCT preparation is a moot point since Math3&4 never had an EOCT,and Math 1&2 courses will be adjusted for the 1st administration of the discrete EOCTs (scores may or may not be used);
4) relative to AYP, the state school supt. has filed for an NCLB waiver that may allow GA schools the "freedom" to determine their own measure of educational progress;
5)Graduation status won't change for this year's juniors and seniors;
6)Parents get one more justifiable reason to argue against their child's lack of success in math class once the switch is made.

It's a win-win for the parent-child, a what-now for teachers, and a just-do-it for the administrators.

I don't like being part of this madness, but I'm going to give it my best shot.I'm sure all of my colleagues will also. We appreciate your support.

......Thanks.

.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Anon 2:15. Trust me: Parents greatly appreciate our math teachers. The mid-year switch is messy, but don't mistake our frustration with the Central Office as anything directed towards teachers.

Anon said...

fyi -- at the end of accelerated Math 1 -- the kids are missing a chapter or 2 of geometry and have completed all of algebra one and a sprinkling of algebra 2 -- all Accelerated Math 1s should, in my humble opinon, should be focused on finishing geometry by the end of the year so that all of them can "roll into" Algebra 2 with the sprinkling of statistics that "integrated" requires. The course below Accelerated Math 1 should finish up with Algebra 1 in a similar fashion so that all kids can roll into Geomtry and all kids in Math 2 should finish all Algebra 2 concepts so that they can roll into Analsysi/trig -- then everyone can be in discrete math. Currently, it is my expience, based on 2 children going through accelerated math 1, that no one has any clue what the kids really know. So instead of everyone complaining about shifts and nomenclature (other than the colleges may really be thrown off by the transcripts....), the thing to do is to lobby for an end of course test appropriate for whatever class the child is in (e.g. for math 1/2 -- it would be the algebra and geometry tests) to be given just to see what the heck the kids know and then place the kids into classes for 2nd semester actually based on what they know.... that way they can be taught what they need to know to move into the next level, whatever that may be and we can move forward in some logical fashion.

Anon said...

fyi -- at the end of accelerated Math 1 -- the kids are missing a chapter or 2 of geometry and have completed all of algebra one and a sprinkling of algebra 2 -- all Accelerated Math 1s should, in my humble opinon, should be focused on finishing geometry by the end of the year so that all of them can "roll into" Algebra 2 with the sprinkling of statistics that "integrated" requires. The course below Accelerated Math 1 should finish up with Algebra 1 in a similar fashion so that all kids can roll into Geomtry and all kids in Math 2 should finish all Algebra 2 concepts so that they can roll into Analsysi/trig -- then everyone can be in discrete math. Currently, it is my expience, based on 2 children going through accelerated math 1, that no one has any clue what the kids really know. So instead of everyone complaining about shifts and nomenclature (other than the colleges may really be thrown off by the transcripts....), the thing to do is to lobby for an end of course test appropriate for whatever class the child is in (e.g. for math 1/2 -- it would be the algebra and geometry tests) to be given just to see what the heck the kids know and then place the kids into classes for 2nd semester actually based on what they know.... that way they can be taught what they need to know to move into the next level, whatever that may be and we can move forward in some logical fashion.

Anonymous said...

Now I know why the school board members can't focus on this stuff... boring. (kidding) But, really, are we discussing curriculum in hopes that they might read this blog and get some ideas?

That's not such a bad idea, Cere, we should try to set our own standards on this board to force discussion about education and curriculum more days per month than are focused upon construction.

Wait, what was I thinking? We can't expect them to talk about subject they can't spell. Bless their little hearts.

Anonymous said...

I've mentioned the EOCT testing idea and the fact that no one knows what the kids know to the middle school, the high school, Mr. Segovis, Dr. A and Ms. T. I'm suggesting that everyone here do the same... if they are moving into discrete math in the spring, it may be helpful if they knew were everyone was via an EOCT and actually placed kids appropriately so the teachers could really focus on teaching a class that was placed appropriately.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the new administration is backing off the mid-year switch to discrete math courses. In a recent meeting, instructional coaches were informed that after looking into it further, the administration will wait until the Common Core switch beginning with next fall's 9th graders.

Phew!

--TechieMathTeacher