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Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Teaching algebra in middle school

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From: Tina <pikulin@ix.netcom.com>
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!


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