Friday, January 4, 2013

lobbying for double block!

Second semester starts Monday.  We have reviewed data.  There are several students who were not successful - more than I thought should fail.

I am unhappy with this fact.
I have always believed that as teachers we must own our data.
I don't know what more I can do.

By that I don't mean that I think I'm a perfect teacher ... I can keep working on my planning and presentation skills.  I can keep working on the relationships I am building with students.  I can keep chipping away at the lack of interest in math, the thought that math isn't important, and/or the idea that students can't do math!

There is one thing that I think would make a huge difference.

Our school is set up on an A/B day schedule.  Most students receive algebra instruction every other day for 90 minutes.  There are a few select classes of "double block" algebra.  

My thought ... more, many more 9th graders need, must have double block algebra!  Algebra is the foundation of high school math.  Just barely getting by isn't going to work!  Every year, these students who lack prerequisite skills and interest in math are going to fall further and further behind!

Yes, it's costly to set up "double block" classes.  But it is worth it!!!

I saw this picture on an opinion piece in the NY Times online ... entitled "Is Algebra Necessary."  My answer - yes!  But let's don't let our students drown!

A Double Dose of Algebra is a must read for those organizing and scheduling early high school math classes!

How many minutes of algebra instruction is available for your students?

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