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Topic: Re: Looking for strategies and ideas
Replies: 1   Last Post: Feb 26, 2010 7:54 PM

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Loretta Boyce

Posts: 126
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Looking for strategies and ideas
Posted: Feb 23, 2010 7:47 PM
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Sorry, as I'm finally getting a chance to work through my emails, I
realized I never responded to this. Here goes:

1) Math department meets in April/May and we discuss what we want to do
the following year. Being a small district we're pretty specialized as
far as what we do- me, I live and breathe for my geometry classes, etc.
We try to work it out so it's fair to all regarding number of different
preps, everyone gets something they like and then we split up the rest
accordingly.
We have come in at the end of August and found a change of plan but
usually the plan we submit in May is what we teach in September.

2) We are a pretty close department, we usually have a couple of summer
days that we plan to work together, some paid, some not. During the
school year we have many conversations about how we're handling topics.
We share well and we borrow from each other but essentially we do our
own thing.

3) I would like to say that students are placed upon our recommendation
but that is not always the case. The department gets together as soon
as class lists come out and we run through them to see if there are any
glaring errors, we bring this to the attention of guidance and they fix
it. There are students that "jump track." They go from the slow paced
algebra to the one year geometry, after discussing this within the
department we go to guidance again- either they need to be moved or they
get 5 weeks to prove themselves and if they don't- then they get moved.

4) Sitting for exams, I've had students that have signed up through
guidance without the proper coursework and they were allowed to
"challenge" the exam. They say this is legit as long as they have the
number of math credits they need to graduate and they're looking for
advanced designation. We have a HUGE number of students that sign up
through guidance and never talk to a math teacher about exam prep, they
just show up, take the test and we have to grade the less than stellar
papers later- great for our "numbers" that administration is ALWAYS
looking at.

5) Professional development provided at work has been focused
completely on the curriculum mapping process that we've "adopted" over
the last three (???) years. Most effective professional development is
what I seek out on my own.

What works? Finding, understanding and knowing I'm not alone based on
networking with peers.

What doesn't? Shoving new theories down my throat that I have
absolutely NO time to implement.

In my perfect world, the kids and their parents would care at least as
much as I do.

Loretta :)


Mathematics Teacher
Dana L. West Jr-Sr High School
30 Maple Ave
Port Byron, NY 13140

(315)776-5728 ext 1258
>>> Happy McClurg 02/10/10 9:52 PM >>>
Looking for strategies to adapt to new standards and changing times.
Ideas? What works, what doesn't?

Also:

1. When do you learn teaching assignments? Year ahead, month ahead,
week before school starts? What is reasonable?

2. How is course/lesson design managed? Collaboration, in isolation?
Summer planning, night before?

3. How are students placed in courses? Teacher recommendation,
parent, student?

4. Who qualifies to sit for exam? Students who completed course,
passed course, anyone who wants to?

5. Effective professional development?

Our situation (the norm?): course assignments: some end of previous
school year; some week before school. Lesson plans developed
accordingly. Many students in courses they were not recommended for and
doing poorly. In January, 20 students sat for B exam, 8 did not pass, 4
of them didn?t take course; 32 sat for Algebra, 7 failed, none of the 7
completed the course. Many students were encouraged to take tests (not
by math teachers) whether or not they completed course of study leading
up to exam. Math department now taking the hits for poor pass rate.
Scheduled professional development away from teaching duties: ten days
and counting.

What is working? Collaborating *******************************************************************
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