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Q&A #19686


What kind of material should I be teaching?

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From: Claire (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jul 15, 2008 at 17:00:39
Subject: Re: What kind of material should I be teaching?

Hi, Doug --

The good news is that your student is really close to achieving mastery level
in decimals, fractions, exponents, percents. This suggests some brushing up
in those areas, allowing you to focus mostly on the area she really needs to
grow in, geometry and graphing.

Without knowing the kinds of items in the test, or the nature of the course
she's preparing for, it's difficult to give you specific advice. I'm also
assuming you're not merely trying to get her to pass the test, but also to
maximize her chances of success in the course itself. My preference is always
to start from real (word) problems, rather than exercises. They provide a
context that gives meaning to the skills as well as a deeper understanding of
the concepts (even more important!). One good problem can provide the
opportunity to practice several skills as once, as well as make the
connections between them.

You might look into a free 21-day trial subscription to our Problems of the
Week, which will allow you to access up to 5 problems. You can register at:
http://mathforum.org/pow/productinfo.html

If you do, here are some problems in our Library that you might find useful
for working on geometry and it's connection to numbers and algebra:

Teddy Bear's Banquet
http://mathforum.org/librarypow/puzzles/index2.ehtml?puzzle=3463

Frog Farming  http://mathforum.org/librarypow/puzzles/index2.ehtml?puzzle=3499

Tangrams  http://mathforum.org/librarypow/puzzles/index2.ehtml?puzzle=3667

This page lists lots of other free sources of problems:
http://mathforum.org/pow/other.html

The Purple Math website might provide a review of the "almost there" areas:
http://www.purplemath.com/modules/index.htm

I'd also check out the NCTM's Navigations series. There are several titles in
the 6-8 grade band range that would provide good ideas:
http://my.nctm.org/eBusiness/ProductCatalog/productsview.aspx?id=39,
Members get a discount, and I highly recommend their publications and
conferences.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck!

 -Claire, for the T2T service

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