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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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