Q&A #4990

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Teaching algebra in middle school

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From: Bob Koenig

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2002030715:06:14
Subject: Re: teaching algebra in middle school

Be very careful when you talk about teaching algegra in a "Middle
School friendly" way.  I was a high school math teacher from
1985-2001.  One year I was teaching a class to Freshman who had
recieved Algebra 1 credit in missle school.  Two girls (close
friends)were very hard working but seemed lost on many basic topics. 
We traced back to their middle school and discovered that not a single
student who had their middle school algebra teacher had passed the
second year high school course.

We (my department) contacted the school and discovered how much they
loved this teacher.  She taught and re-taught topics the students
struggled with and had a very low failure rate.  The fact that she
always covered less than half the book did not seem important.

Moral of the story... don't give high school credit for a course if
you are not going to teach the course. 
Thank You

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