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Q&A #6295


Changing approaches

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From: Kimberley (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 10, 2001 at 18:19:26
Subject: Re: Changing approaches

Dan,

It has been a number of years since I have looked at a Saxon Algebra 1 book, 
but I don't believe they have changed much.  The Saxon series tends to stress 
computational skills over reasoning and concepts.  Textbooks from other 
companies (my school uses a series other than Glencoe) are trying to include a 
mix of computation and reasoning.  It may be that which is causing your son 
some problems. 

Also, while there is a core of algebra topics inherent in all  courses, some 
include topics which are integrated from across the mathematics curriculum 
(probability, statistics, even some geometry).  Still others include 
technology as an integral part of the learning process.

So, how will this help your son?  You have already met with the teacher and 
looked at the textbook.  Has the teacher offered some suggestions? 

 You mentioned your son taking the district's mid-term exam in Algebra.  As 
for your son's score on the exam, you may want to determine if some of the 
confusion was due to a use of different vocabulary for concepts he does know.  
Sometimes questions asking the same thing  sound different from one textbook 
(or teacher!) to the next.  Would the school district be willing to interview 
your son or give him an oral exam to get a better sense of what he knows?

Our school is close to the end of the year.  In the three weeks remaining, 
some things could be done to help a student make a transition, but there 
really isnít enough time to make up for a semester.  Does your son's school 
offer a summer school program?  Would they allow you to teach your son over 
the summer using the Algebra book they use  with the thought that he could 
take the final exam before the next year begins?

These are only possibilities.  I believe your best solutions will come from 
the teachers at your son's school.

 -Kimberley, for the T2T service


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