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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