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Showing posts from January, 2016

What's Math Got To Do With It? Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Stuck in the Slow Lane: How American Grouping Systems Perpetuate Low Achievement Wow, what a chapter. This one has made me rethink some of my beliefs. Most of my 24 years of teaching math has included grouping by ability. It was such a big push in my early years of teaching – our smaller elementary school didn’t group, but one of the bigger elementary schools did, and the parents pushed for (and got) “equity” among the schools. So we all started grouping. Ability-grouping has become ingrained, so reading (in this chapter) that ability grouping is illegal in some countries in the world, including Finland (at the top in international achievement tests), really surprised me. Grouping is banned because when students are put in lower ability classes, they receive lower-level work, which Boaler says is damaging and suppresses achievement. Non-ability grouping provides more students with the opportunity to learn – which is needed in order to achieve. Makes sense. Boaler state

Problem of the Week #10

All problems are now on my new site: In honor of Winter Storm Jonas, this week's problem solving uses some snowfall data. This is a quick one - students use the data to find mean, median and mode. It's nice that the numbers are decimals - provides some decimal adding and dividing practice! Click to access To access all of the Problem of the Weeks, click here !

What's Math Got To Do With It? - Chapter 4

Chapter 4:  Taming the Monster I definitely enjoyed chapter 4. The chapter discusses one of our favorite topics - testing. A few statements that Boaler makes in the chapter are: * American children are tested more than ever and more than students in the rest of the world. * The tests used in the U.S. are rejected by most other countries. * Tests are damaging to schools, teachers, and students - to their health, hearts, and minds. * It's hard to find any multiple choice questions used in Europe or in any national assessment, in any subject, at any level. (I've always taken multiple choice tests - I had no idea they are not used everywhere!  Anyone from a different country reading this - what are your tests like??) (Anyone in U.S. - are your tests mostly multiple choice?) Boaler identifies reasons not to use multiple choice tests: 1) Multiple choice testing is known to be biased. 2) Timed multiple choice tests cause anxiety. 3) The best thing a multiple choice tes

Problem of the Week #9

  All problems are now on my new site: It's 2016. That blows my mind. So many new ideas to think about, so many new things to try, so many hopes for the year! I hope the year will be good for you all! This week's problem requires students to search for how many different combinations are possible for a password....can be challenging, depending on your students' background! I hope you'll give it a try - if you do, please let me know how it goes! We have spent many days this school year giving our students the opportunity to "struggle" a bit with problems like these, and this had lead to great discussion, among the students AND the teachers. Have a great Monday! Click to access To access all of the Problem of the Weeks, click  here !