I blame helper monkeys

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After pressuring the new principal, I got a list of courses I’m teaching next year (yeah, I know we start in less than a month. What – you wanted preparation for courses? Ha!), so I’ve been able to start some work.

We have low performing students – about 5th grade average coming in to 9th grade. So I don’t just need a list of Algebra 1 skills for Algebra 1 – I decided to make a list of everything. That way there should be some things for everybody that they can check off (I hope), and some things for everybody that they have never heard of.  It’s, of course, attached to my old fogey web page. I checked everybody’s skills lists, and also the common core from kindergarten on.

I like that Common Core writes up all these lists as if all students then know everything from grade 3 when they get into grade 4. Nobody address what happens if they don’t. I have banned the word “should” from skills discussions (as in “they should know how to find the area of a rectangle”) because it’s pointless. I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to know how to use LaTeX because I’ve been sent it twice, but Mr Pershan was kind enough to help me on math mistakes. He didn’t even tell me off for abusing his blog, how nice is that?
I blame the helper monkeys. My daughter who hates math said that she wanted a helper monkey to go in and take math tests for her.

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2 responses »

  1. Hello there!

    I feel your pain for needing to remediate old skills for students who never learned them in the first place. I also stopped worrying about what students ‘should’ have learned and instead focused on teaching the ones I had in the room.

    One strategy that I used that was incredibly helpful was my Wall of Remediation: http://mathymcmatherson.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/the-wall-of-remediation-or-my-low-tech-version-of-khan-academy/. I populated it with worksheets from http://www.worksheetworks.com – I highly recommend this website for quickly generating worksheets to work on remedial skills.

    Maybe that helps, or maybe you’ve got other strategies for helping to bring your students up to grade level. Whatever you use, good luck!

  2. Oh,yes, your wall of remediation is completely on my list of stolen stuff. I’m getting that up before we start. Thanks 🙂

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