Teacher2Teacher 
Q&A #515 
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From: John Donaghy <donaghjg@hsd401.org> To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion Date: 1999021020:46:51 Subject: Re: Re: re: Including Low Students in the main curriculum Are you talking about the top three students in a class, or the top .1%? Those are very different animals. The top 5% of my math students are 8th graders taking geometry. The top student in that class, who probably isn't in this top .1%, on occasion writes computer programs to which he administers my tests. The next 20% are taking algebra. Most all of the rest are in a class we call Math 8. The classroom I described in the previous posting was this class Math 8. I'm sure there are ten year olds who would do great at Stanford. I don't think any have been in my Math 8 class. By untracking we strive to unleash the potential of the many; the brightest in that middle bunch can be challenged and developed in an untracked classroom. A current project my students are doing is to design packages for drinking water from a recently discovered spring. To demonstrate highest proficiency, students will need to make compound packages using various solids  cones, pyramids, prisms, and even spheres. Some students will demonstrate lower proficiency by making more pedestrian rectangular prisms and cylinders. The volume must be constant across the 2 or 3 packages which the students make. All students will need to show understanding of volume, surface area, how they are related, and how to calculate them.
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