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Q&A #1708


Helping low achievers

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From: ---
To: Teacher2Teacher Service
Date: Jun 29, 1999 at 14:54:41
Subject: Helping low achievers

Our daughter has had difficulty with mathematics since early elementary
school.  It is a little like Mr. Holland's Opus for us, because my husband
and I are both mathematics majors, certified to teach high school math.  She
has no difficulty with English and reading.  She scored a 27 in English, 26
in Reading on her ACT recently.  However, she only scored a 16 in math.  This
correlates perfectly with her Stanford Achievement Test scores where she
would consistently score in the 99th percentile in Reading and the 33rd
percentile in math.  I went to her school with my concerns; they brushed me
off repeatedly, saying, "We do not want to label her as Special Education
student."  With our help, she has been able to score a C in Algebra I and a B
in Geometry (she could memorize those theorems like nobody's business).  But
Dear Teacher2Teacher,
     Our daughter has had difficulty with math since early elementary
school.  It's a little like Mr. Holland's Opus for us, because my husband
and I are both math majors, certified to teach high school math.  She has
no difficulty with English and reading.  She made a 27 in English, 26 in
Reading on her ACT recently.  She made a 16 in math.  This correlates
perfectly with her Stanford Achievement Test scores where she would
consistently score in the 99th percentile in Reading and the 33rd percentile
in math.  I went to her school with my concerns; they brushed me off
repeatedly, saying, "We do not want to label her as a Special Education
student"  With our help, she scored a C in Algebra I and a B in Geometry (she
could memorize those theorems like nobody's business).  The first semester of
this year, she scored a D in Algebra II and failed the second semester.  The
only reason we let her take Algebra II was that she will be required to take
College Algebra in college.  Later on, she wants to be a first grade teacher.
     My question is this:  Have special learning problems been identified for
students who have difficulty in mathematics, and are there specific teaching
strategies that can be used to help these low achievers?  I am a very capable
teacher, but I have not had proper preparation to help with these kinds of
problems.  Than

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