In the past few years I have spent quite a bit of time working with two 6th grade classes, trying out some new material I have been writing. Neither of the teachers is a math specialist, but teacher A is a local expert in the Whole Language style of teaching (but had not applied it to math in a serious way). When I gave out the day's handouts of instructions and questions, the students in class A immediately started reading them. There were inevitably lots of questions, but not until after they had gotten into the material. The students in class B immediately jumped to the questions and tried to fill in the answers without even reading the text of the questions (assumed they could figure out what was needed from the diagram and numbers.)
I never saw the math textbook for class A, but the one for class B had the traditional 2-page spread, easy problems first, word problems towards the end (where they're easy to skip) and computational review problems from previous chapters at the end. (The teachers' edition pointed out how this book was perfectly aligned with the Standards at every opportunity.)
Susan Addington Academic year 1995-6: The rest of the time: firstname.lastname@example.org The Geometry Center Math Department 1300 South 2nd St., Suite 500 California State University Minneapolis, MN 55454 San Bernardino, CA 92407 (612) 624-5058 fax: (612) 626-7131 WWW at Geometry Center: http://www.geom.umn.edu/~addingto/ ***** NEW MATH GAME! ****** Check my Web pages for The Number Bracelets Game.
On Fri, 10 May 1996, Ronald A Ward wrote:
> I don't believe that most highschool students have EVER read their > texts. One reason is that very few teachers require their students to > read the narrative portion