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Topic: Please help, I need professional advice.
Replies: 8   Last Post: Aug 17, 2013 10:15 PM

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Roberta M. Eisenberg

Posts: 269
Registered: 10/9/09
Re: Please help, I need professional advice.
Posted: Aug 17, 2013 9:42 AM
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Liz, I think this is a really good analysis of the situation. Perhaps most important is the suggestion that union representation be included early on.

From all that I have been reading, I can only say that I am glad to be retired.


On Aug 17, 2013, at 12:03 AM, Liz Waite <> wrote:

> ok-in that case, I would say it might be a good idea instead to offer a double period of math (back to back) where you should teach something of a blend of the 2 courses. They would definitely benefit from the 2 periods of math since the common core algebra and grade 8 are so grueling (even for an accelerated student) but if you insist on double periods you could at least build the concepts from 8th grade that are needed for 9th grade and then extend them but not in a strange side by side program.
> For example, let's say the 8th grade curriculum starts to build a linear concept - go with some of the 8th grade stuff and then extend that with the algebra module on linear/exponential. You could look through the 8th grade curriculum and see which things need to be done before 9th grade and don't have obvious extensions into grade 9 and do those first and then continue on to the grade 9 material. Mostly you should focus on covering the grade 9 modules and try to fill in what they need as building blocks from grade 8.
> They need to be back to back and with the same teacher so that you can really build a great concept flow for them. This will also allow you to assign ONE h.w. assignment each night. You would want to suggest that students be assigned ONE grade for the course even though it is 2 periods long per day. It still can be worth one h.s. credit even if it is 2 periods long. Treat it as one class period with a break in the middle rather than 2 separate classes. Include plenty of application/discussion time and perhaps devise some games to work with the concepts (not going to find too much of that in the modules but it doesn't matter) - you are definitely going to need to modify the modules and problem sets to make them fit into a one year time span and to make them fit 9th graders developmentally. Hopefully your district is going to allow for modification of the modules as needed, otherwise you need to call your union rep FAST as there is no way on earth they can be used exactly as written (maybe if you have 3 periods of math per day for 9th grade alone and still include extra spiraled review assignments).
> Accelerated 8th graders are really going to be "in a pickle" this year in general across the state and that your district recognizes that and realizes they absolutely will need more time to cover the curriculum (so will incoming 9th graders, by the way-good luck with that everyone) is really good.
> The district is probably concerned about the 8th grade test scores and how they impact the district. If you propose the double period idea make sure they know that you are confident (just pretend) that they will in fact be better prepared for the 8th grade assessment this way than if the 2 courses were taught as 2 ships in the night.
> Everyone who is actually using the modules should make sure they are thinking about how they are going to incorporate problem sets - modifying them, assigning them, discussing them in class - and how that will impact lesson length. A good rule of thumb would probably be to say that each lesson will need to be split up into 2-3 lessons with some supplementation for building concepts and filling in the gaps for students who have not had common core since kindergarten (so everyone) and you will need to split up problem sets appropriately, add spiraled problems from previous lessons in the module, and build in time to go over the problem sets. I realize this brings everyone to well over 180 days. Not sure what to tell you about that, but if your district is thinking about adopting the modules and not allowing for modifications you may want to take a good hard look at the lessons in the released modules 1 and 2 and see how long YOU really think each activity will take, then add in how long it will take a student to complete a typical problem set, and then how long it will take to go over them, especially if you keep every problem in them (we all know how students skip the "hard" ones on h.w.-guess what, they're all hard ones!), then add in the fact that the modules are written for AT LEAST 45 minute classes (anyone have those out there?), and then go to your administration with your union rep and insist that you should be allowed to modify the lessons.
> Good luck.
> Liz
> Elizabeth Waite
> AMTNYS Coordinator of Reps
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Adam Staab <>
> To: nysmsmath <>
> Sent: Fri, Aug 16, 2013 10:42 pm
> Subject: Re: Please help, I need professional advice.
> To clarify, the program will be offered to only accelerated students. I assume
> they will not be skipping any curriculum. They will go through the full
> curriculum for 8th and the full curriculum for Algebra 1 at the same time. They
> are scheduled for two periods because they will be taking two different math
> classes. I appreciate all the comments so far and would appreciate more.
> Thanks!
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