Yes, the little kidlets need to know how to read and write. But they are 5 grades behind in math. Are we really going to have to give up 5 of our 180 math days to teach 5-paragraph essays? They why are the English teachers not having 5 days of problem-solving from math problems? Fewer than 10% of our kids pass the 11th grade test – many of them pass the English part, very few pass math. It would seem to me that we would improve their lot in life if we improved their math skills. Just a thought.
I think the big whiteboards are working well – individual think, followed by group think, followed by share seems to be improving. Some students are willing to learn from others. And then students are working on the boards in the class time. Now that i have students willing to work together, some students are noticing that I say they can work in groups to turn in work – hey we don’t all have to write down the same thing. Yes! Work together, figure it out! So I think we can start to work on “big problems.” A little scary, but I’m going there. with no support from the principal. Sigh.