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Topic: Topic 1 - Effective Software


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Subject:   DM and Textbooks
Author: Vance Baker
Date: Mar 16 2003
On Mar 16, 2003, Suzanne wrote:

Hi Vance,

Would you mind giving a few more details? You mentioned that Destination Math
(DM) corresponds to your students' textbook's lesson. What textbook do you use
with 7th grade? 8th grade? RSP?

Is DM aligned specifically with textbooks or do you align it by finding a
similar topic that matches your lesson? Can you give an example of one lesson
that you do this with? For example, when you are working with the "waiting wave"
of students (not yet using the computer) what kinds of mathematics tasks are
your student doing? Could you describe a scenario?

This is the third year that I've been out of the classroom (having joined the
Math Forum staff full time) but when I was teaching 7th/8th grade mathematics in
a computer lab, one of the most challenging tasks for me was to find software
that really fit with the topic I was teaching and so I'm very interested to hear
more about what you are doing.

Hi Suzanne!  Thanks for asking!  I use the same textbook for 7th and 8th Grade
RSP students, but we supplement the 8th Grade Text with the assessment program
referred to as Master Mathematics from a teacher in Arizona.  This was adopted
by Riverside Unified under the buzz word, Algebra for All.  So, I use California
Middle School Mathematics Concepts and Skills 2.  And yes, I have to make the
alignment myself by searching the DM lessons which correlate with our pacing
chart for this textbook.  In Riverside Unified [RUSD], we essentially march
through the Concepts text chapter by chapter.  The waiting wave are going
through an abbreviated lesson with me.  We study the text examples and do the
Guided Practice Questions together with me using the overhead to record the
students answers to my questions of them.  After both waves have completed both
aspects of the lesson, they start their homework with me answering questions as
needed.

All that said, I've had almost no success doing this with my regular ed class of
35 students.  It takes several days to get them through 20 minutes of DM with
only four computers.  I'm going to work with the school library which hosts
about 15 computers to see if I can use their resources for this.  I'm also
planning on soliciting a grant this summer for a wireless network of
laptops.

I hope that sheds enough light on the subject.  I'll share more as
requested.

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