Position Paper
Standards 2000 and
Technology Conference


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AVID Math 7

Teacher's Role



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  1. Success on standardized tests

    As teachers combine activities, manipulatives, exercises, and technology, they must address how their students will be assessed. It is important for teachers to believe that through the curriculum they offer, students will be able to perform successfully on the standardized tests mandated by the school, district, state, and/or nation.

    In my opinion, students who are actively engaged in learning have better opportunities to demonstrate their skills than do students who are passive learners. It is very important, however, for the teacher is to remember to formalize the mathematics once an activity has been experienced. At that point exercises can have meaning.

    Colleagues often tell me that they don't understand how I can present some of the material I use before my students have a clear understanding of all of the arithmetic to be used, but I know that drilling my students on arithmetical skills with no apparent reason is not as powerful as first presenting the reason for using the skills.

  2. Open-ended assessment

    For the past three years, the mathematics department at Frisbie Middle School has had a Middle School Demonstration Grant in Mathematics from the California State Department of Education. As part of this grant we have developed two rubrics for open-ended assessment that we have given to the students at the beginning and the end of the year.

    It takes time to develop good rubrics. Working together as a department can be very helpful, because a broad base provides more depth to the possible answers. One of my goals is to have my students score papers using a rubric that they themselves have developed. After working through the rubric development process you really know the problem and its answer!

  3. Standards

    Because of the changing standards in California I often use the NCTM Standards as a more constant frame of reference. As I develop more lessons similar in format to the Traffic Jam Activity, links to the NCTM Standards will be available as a reference on each activity.

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