Q&A #4990

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Teaching algebra in middle school

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From: Tina

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2002031011:12:21
Subject: Re: Teaching algebra in middle school

As a seventh grade math teacher, I often ponder this same question. I currently teach three algebra classes and often find many gaps in my students' knowledge of basic alebraic concepts, such as adding and subtracting integers. Often times, their parents want to "give them the benefit of the doubt" and place them in the enrichment course even if they do not have a solid foundation of basic math. Usually, these students do not perform well because they get caught up in careless mistakes. I often wonder if their gaps will catch up with them in the high school, when it is already too late. Do they really need to be taught about functions, absolute value inequalities and slope at the middle school level? I would rather cover less material but go more in-depth with the material I teach! I believe in QUALITY instead of QUANTITY of the math concepts I teach each year! Too bad my curriculum does not agree with my stance. It does not allow me to spend the time I would like to make sure that my students can APPLY the concepts I teach! I'm always running against the clock! Tina

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