tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post7882748896662249820..comments2021-11-26T11:50:01.948-05:00Comments on DeKalb County School Watch: Old math, new math, discrete math, math 1,2,3,4: imprudent math curriculum decisions?Cerebrationhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11161868015604029471noreply@blogger.comBlogger41125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-41548109733512971892011-12-06T20:50:02.177-05:002011-12-06T20:50:02.177-05:00Looks like the new administration is backing off t...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. <br /><br />Phew!<br /><br />--TechieMathTeacherAnonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-34201514398791596952011-11-15T08:45:13.588-05:002011-11-15T08:45:13.588-05:00I've mentioned the EOCT testing idea and the f...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.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-43085544222554982562011-11-14T23:13:09.559-05:002011-11-14T23:13:09.559-05:00Now I know why the school board members can't ...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? <br /><br />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. <br /><br />Wait, what was I thinking? We can't expect them to talk about subject they can't spell. Bless their little hearts.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-70747112459585355752011-11-14T21:09:03.378-05:002011-11-14T21:09:03.378-05:00fyi -- at the end of accelerated Math 1 -- the kid...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.Anonhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/10798969067363633127noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-13341229820141355322011-11-14T21:08:53.426-05:002011-11-14T21:08:53.426-05:00fyi -- at the end of accelerated Math 1 -- the kid...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.Anonhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/10798969067363633127noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-6228477867574828552011-11-14T15:33:21.354-05:002011-11-14T15:33:21.354-05:00Great post, Anon 2:15. Trust me: Parents greatly ...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.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-28577536356767428902011-11-14T14:15:19.660-05:002011-11-14T14:15:19.660-05:00Okay, so it seems that many of the readers are in ...Okay, so it seems that many of the readers are in uproar over the proposed changes to the math curriculum.<br /><br />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. <br /><br />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?<br /><br />1)Because most colleges still have to "translate" Math 1/2/3/4 into the discrete labels when they look at transcripts; <br />2) we're getting a head start on the inevitable switch to discrete courses and Common Core Standards (CCGPS); <br />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);<br />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; <br />5)Graduation status won't change for this year's juniors and seniors;<br />6)Parents get one more justifiable reason to argue against their child's lack of success in math class once the switch is made. <br /><br />It's a win-win for the parent-child, a what-now for teachers, and a just-do-it for the administrators.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />......Thanks.<br /><br />.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-17332822507934382842011-11-13T18:04:34.785-05:002011-11-13T18:04:34.785-05:00Thanks TechieMathTeacher - we will certainly keep ...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. <br /><br />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.Cerebrationhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11161868015604029471noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-82089409952166304052011-11-13T14:58:48.050-05:002011-11-13T14:58:48.050-05:00I can say how 2 different 4x4 block schools are do...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.Danielhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11016179592133074812noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-25977876236844002672011-11-12T18:14:46.150-05:002011-11-12T18:14:46.150-05:00@Math Mom hit the nail on the head when she 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."<br /><br />Here's a 30,000 foot view:<br /><br />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.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />--TechieMathTeacherAnonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-58329099650286360352011-11-12T18:10:03.459-05:002011-11-12T18:10:03.459-05:00@Mom99, some schools on a block schedule teach mat...@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.<br /><br />For those not familiar, here are the types of schedules in DeKalb:<br />* a 6 or 7 period traditional day where math is taught yearlong<br />* a block yearlong course where credits are given in math & math support <br />* a block single semester course where credit is awarded only in math <br /><br />--TechieMathTeacherAnonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-42075691679050154222011-11-12T18:06:20.184-05:002011-11-12T18:06:20.184-05:00I have too many points to make to put all in one r...I have too many points to make to put all in one reply. Allow me to break this up.<br /><br />To help see who I am, I wrote to Cere with the story and am Anonymous 8:43. I teach math in the county.<br /><br />@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).<br /><br />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.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />I'm also aware that no parents probably meant to have the district switch things up mid-year.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />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. <br /><br />--TechieMathTeacherAnonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-4623602732528680322011-11-12T17:33:00.284-05:002011-11-12T17:33:00.284-05:00@Mom99 I cannot believe that DeKalb county, wit...@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.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-10853747609776260492011-11-12T17:23:35.549-05:002011-11-12T17:23:35.549-05:00Georgia math is very confusing because there are t...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.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />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."<br /><br />In any case, the state is not going back to the pre-2006 math courses.<br /><br />The state's CCGPS math webpage is at http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/ci_services.aspx?PageReq=CIServMath<br /><br />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<br /><br />BTW, Anon 1:49, I wish more of our children had the opportunity to learn from staff like you.Math Momnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-52169954007575732722011-11-12T16:18:27.297-05:002011-11-12T16:18:27.297-05:00I would be happy to see the change for the kids in...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...Mom99https://www.blogger.com/profile/03123790617325102107noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-30826549340949250982011-11-12T15:49:38.415-05:002011-11-12T15:49:38.415-05:00This is a horrible idea and while the kids don'...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. <br /><br />Please go to the school board meeting and have people email school board reps, this is horribleAnonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-1618268312287653682011-11-12T15:06:02.121-05:002011-11-12T15:06:02.121-05:00I don't think it is ever about teaching the st...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.shark baithttps://www.blogger.com/profile/00063034860703474206noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-18922193131644229182011-11-12T13:49:50.077-05:002011-11-12T13:49:50.077-05:00The bottom line is many DCSS students will find th...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 <i>m</i> (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).<br /><br />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.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-47750375496949235122011-11-12T13:30:35.529-05:002011-11-12T13:30:35.529-05:00How was this information announced? I see nothing...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!)momofthreehttps://www.blogger.com/profile/07435202723210676762noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-67288203666902406202011-11-12T12:54:24.716-05:002011-11-12T12:54:24.716-05:00@Anonymous 8:43
Am I understanding you that this ...@Anonymous 8:43<br /><br />Am I understanding you that this may only be renaming and re sequencing for those with kids in the accelerated tract?<br /><br />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? <br /><br />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.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-35084516164636173622011-11-12T08:43:51.096-05:002011-11-12T08:43:51.096-05:00I teach math in DeKalb. Before you applaud a switc...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.<br /><br />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)<br />and the content:<br />* function notation<br />* solving quadratic, radical, and rational equations<br />* complex numbers<br />* piecewise functions<br />* triangle congruence<br />* special quadrilaterals<br />* circles & spheres<br />* data analysis and probability<br /><br />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)<br /><br />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 <br />* function notation<br />* solving quadratic, radical, and rational equations<br />* complex numbers<br />* data analysis and probability<br /><br />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.<br /><br />--TechieMathTeacherAnonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-59558781355848208192011-11-11T23:54:13.677-05:002011-11-11T23:54:13.677-05:00DeKalb's problems with teaching math go way ba...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. <br /><br />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. <br /><br />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.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-79420031739743570672011-11-11T16:41:27.736-05:002011-11-11T16:41:27.736-05:00I really hope by eliminating some of the "cho...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.<br /><br />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.No Duhhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/00544438085465296470noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-84408773417731739702011-11-11T15:52:12.263-05:002011-11-11T15:52:12.263-05:00I wish they would stop calling these courses '...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.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-151096942903989101.post-24129105631658774972011-11-11T10:15:01.437-05:002011-11-11T10:15:01.437-05:00There are teachers who really like the 1,2,3 math....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?Cerebrationhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11161868015604029471noreply@blogger.com