Q&A #6493

New to teaching, however...older teacher

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From: Ralph (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 14, 2001 at 11:16:22
Subject: Re: New to teaching, however...older teacher

Dear Chris, First of all, welcome to teaching! I'm sure you'll love it, and that you will do exceptionally well. It's hard to add much to what you've written, as you've already come up with some marvelous ideas of your own (it's obvious that your adult training background has held you in good stead!), but I'll try to add what I can. Your idea about making a cumulative test from last year's material to use as a pre-test for your students is a good one. You might be able to save yourself some time if you have access to Teacher's editions of whatever books were being used in Gr. 7, since oftentimes there are cumulative tests already created there. I know the Massachusetts curriculum is rather "messy" now with the "approved" curriculum being at odds with what the original panel that created the curriculum recommended, and an "alternative framework" being proposed, etc. I have a friend in Boston who was on that panel, and has given me permission to invite you to contact her. I'm confident she will have some extremely useful information for you. Her name is Carole Greenes, at Boston University. Her e-mail address is: cgreenes@bu.edu . As for Question #2 on "grading". Your best source for SPECIFIC grading practices for your district/school would be from other teachers there. However, there are several wonderful resources available regarding assessment considerations. Everyone has his/her favorites, so I can only offer mine. There are two books available from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). You can check them out by going to the NCTM website: http://www.nctm.org and clicking on their publications catalog. One is entitled Mathematics Assessment: A Practical handbook for Grades 6-8. The other is Mathematics Assessment: Cases and Discussion Questions for Grades 6-12. Both have examples, reflections, explanations, etc. that are really useful. Question #3-Good that you're ordering the Volume 1 of Problems of the Week. It's excellent. Keep in mind that the Problem of the Week is an ongoing feature at the Math Forum, and there's a specific POW section for Middle School, so I'd suggest that you follow that each week, too. http://mathforum.org/midpow Question #4-You've got some great ideas of your own here. Another source is again from NCTM, called Mathematics Projects Handbook, Fourth Edition. I'm really impressed with all that you're doing in preparation for next year. You/your students will have a terrific year, I'm sure! -Ralph, for the T2T service

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