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Q&A #1022


Creative ideas for teaching remedial math

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From: Cindy (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jan 16, 1999 at 13:36:55
Subject: Re: Creative ideas for teaching remedial math

I have been teaching the same population of kids for a couple of years, and
here's what I've found to be helpful.

I give a (non-graded) test at the start of each grading period.  For every
skill already mastered, the student receives an A for the test grade on that
skill and completes enrichment activities instead of doing the work.

Three skills are practiced at a time and I go in 2 week cycles.  For example,
during the first grading period, cycle 1 consisted of whole numbers,
+/- decimals, and +/- integers.  Students work at their own pace to master
the concepts. Cycle 2 consisted of review of unlearned cycle 1 topics, and */
decimals and integers.  Cycle 3 had review, order of operations, equations
with manipulatives.  Cycle 4 had review, mixed integers (not enough had
mastered), and flow chart equations.

The second and third grading periods worked the same way.  Sometimes, I'd
send groups of 8 students to the board to work problems while the rest of the
class did the problems at their seats.  BTW - only 8 problems per day per
topic are given, and homework is assigned only if those 24 problems were not
finished (my students do not do homework well).  Sending students to the
board was not stressful to the students because they could choose to work all
8 problems at their desks.  Those at the board were not competing or
demonstrating anything for the class.  I responded 1 on 1 as they needed
help, and they helped each other whenever needed.

Most of my students have mastered the basic skills now, so during the 4th
quarter we will do applications, projects, and mind stretchers.  In science,
the students are constructing a nature trail on the school grounds (we have
woods on campus) so we will do measurement and geometry activities on the
trail.  There will be a paper airplane unit (measurement and formulas) as
well as probability activities.

I hope these suggestions are useful to you!

 -Cindy, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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