One of the most common frustrations heard from secondary math teachers:

In a typical math classroom, all students learn the same thing on the same day. This makes practical sense - it allows for standards to be covered in a timely manner; teachers only need to create one lesson a day. It is very difficult for teachers to manage small groups or individualized lessons.

This type of lesson planning is effective for 80% - 85% of students.

But what happens to the other 15% -20%, who are lacking the significant skills necessary to understand the new lesson?

We must address the root of the problem by discovering students' specific weaknesses and methodically addressing each gap. Picture math like a Jenga game, with each block representing a major skill.

This math tower begins to build in preschool, as students learn basic counting principles, addition, subtraction, grouping, and measurement. The foundation of their tower is in number sense, basic fact retrieval, computation skills, and an understanding of fractions and decimals.

As students continue through their K-8 math education, their tower becomes enormously tall and complex, but most students are missing at least a few blocks. The lower on the tower these missing pieces are, the more a student will struggle. We continue to add new blocks but do nothing to replace the missing pieces. Tutoring only on the current skills aids the student in adding more blocks to the top. While the tower gets taller, it also gets weaker.

*HE SHOULD ALREADY KNOW THIS! HOW CAN I TEACH HIM IF HE DOESN'T HAVE HIS BASIC SKILLS?!?!*In a typical math classroom, all students learn the same thing on the same day. This makes practical sense - it allows for standards to be covered in a timely manner; teachers only need to create one lesson a day. It is very difficult for teachers to manage small groups or individualized lessons.

This type of lesson planning is effective for 80% - 85% of students.

But what happens to the other 15% -20%, who are lacking the significant skills necessary to understand the new lesson?

**They sit there BORED, DISENGAGED, CREATING DISTRACTIONS**.**Many math teachers (secondary or otherwise) do not know how to help students who are missing major pieces of their math education.**Students are sent to tutorials where teachers walk them through the current topic, often holding their hand through each step. Students white-knuckle through, memorizing just enough steps to pass with little understanding of the concepts behind them. They are alcoholics clinging to sobriety, desperate to get through one problem, one quiz, one day at a time. Tutorials are the equivalent of removing liquor from the home. It only pacifies the immediate and does nothing for intervention.We must address the root of the problem by discovering students' specific weaknesses and methodically addressing each gap. Picture math like a Jenga game, with each block representing a major skill.

This math tower begins to build in preschool, as students learn basic counting principles, addition, subtraction, grouping, and measurement. The foundation of their tower is in number sense, basic fact retrieval, computation skills, and an understanding of fractions and decimals.

As students continue through their K-8 math education, their tower becomes enormously tall and complex, but most students are missing at least a few blocks. The lower on the tower these missing pieces are, the more a student will struggle. We continue to add new blocks but do nothing to replace the missing pieces. Tutoring only on the current skills aids the student in adding more blocks to the top. While the tower gets taller, it also gets weaker.

*It is no wonder that by the time a student reaches Algebra I, his tower has already crumbled.*

**RELATED POSTS**

**The "S-Word" - Don't Call Kids "Smart"!***Over the past decade, I've happened across several articles/people/instances urging adults to stop calling children "smart." They warn that by labeling them "smart," students will become lazy***Why Do So Many Students Have Math Learning Gaps?***The blame for these gaps tends to get placed in two ways:**1. Elementary teachers are incompetent in math, and, because of this, they have not adequately prepared their students for higher math.***The Flipped-Then-Re-Flipped Classroom***As exciting as flipped classrooms are, the question is always asked, "What about the students who don't have the technology?"***15 Practical Tips for Dealing with Difficult Students***Praise often. All the time. With over-the top, ridiculous compliments. Your student completed half an assignment after several 0's? Compliment them!***Motivation***The most important part of any math intervention is finding a way to motivate students so they want to try.*
This is very good information! Thank you, Elizabeth. We all miss you and your family so much! Shelley Allen

ReplyDeleteThanks for reading, Shelley! We miss you all, too! COME VISIT!

ReplyDeleteFantastic post . I Appreciate the info , Does anyone know where I could possibly access a template hospital discharge summary form example to edit ?

ReplyDeleteHi Roxanne Dimacale. my partner found a template CA UD-105 copy at this site http://pdf.ac/8Fv25n

Delete