Q&A #2916

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Accelerated Math program

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From: Tim Wilcox

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2003052117:39:19
Subject: Re: Accelerated Math Program Parent

I hear your frustration, but I have some concerns: "However, with AM math, the student can never achieve a feeling that he/she is 'at collective level'" Education, for the past 20 years has striven to individualize instruction to meet the needs of each learner. In any given classroom, the student population usually falls into a 5 year ability range from 2 years below grade level to possibly 2 years above. If the teacher "sets the bar" at grade level and teaches to the middle of the curve, then only the middle and up will demonstrate mastery. Those below will fall another year behind and those at the top wasted a year because they could demonstrate mastery before the year began. God forbid we attempt to address the educational needs of individual students collectively. As for perceptions, they are more often determined by the rhetoric of the participants than the participation. "AM sets up a great deal of 'extra' work for everyone" AM does not determine the amount of homework a child receives. The same factors that have always determined homework amounts still apply. The amount of in class practice time, effective use of that time and expectations of the teacher are usually primary components. Have a conference with your childs teacher to work out the homework issue. First, AM is not done on a computer. AM is the same selection of practive exercises that we all grew up with. Remember "Work exercises 1-30 odd and do the even ones for homework." the difference lies in the ability of the AM software to tailor an entire textbook to a childs needs. Yes, there is less "down" time because there is less work that the child does not need.

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