The Achievement Gap and Middle School Math

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 12 2012

On bullying

There have been a few situations in the last few weeks when some of my students have been bullying another student….one student for being “from Africa” and one student for being “so gay.” The counselor, the other teachers, and I have hopefully dealt with these situations in a way that will stop these particular students…

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Feb 12 2012

On failing

Until this year, I had never really failed at anything. I was always pretty good at most of the stuff that I did and the few things I wasn’t good at (all sports, for example) I decided weren’t for me and I moved on to other more interesting things. In school and in all of…

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Feb 12 2012

On misbehavior

As I student, I never misbehaved. I was in an environment where everyone else was mostly doing what they should be doing, so I guess I just got in the habit of doing what my teachers asked me to do. Since this kept working out very well for me, it never even occurred to me…

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Feb 12 2012

Respect

At the high school my students will attend in two-years if (by an act of god) they pass 7th and 8th grade, there are currently three seniors who have just earned full ride scholarships to Ivy League schools for being extremely high-achieving first-generation college students (one of these students has passed 18 AP classes, for…

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On the last day before winter break, I printed out little cards for all of my students with a note that said something along the lines of: “Dear so-and-so, I hope you and your family have a joyful and restful winter break!” and I attached a candy cane to each card. All of my students…

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Oct 03 2011

Algebra tiles

To teach several different algebra concepts, my school uses manipulatives called algebra tiles. See: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=algebra+tiles&cid=9798463280773607865&sa=X&ei=6hOJTq6SBseXtwfjovku&ved=0CEYQ8wIwAQ Basically, there are 3 different shapes of tiles with side lengths set up so that the tiles each have areas of 1, x, or x^2. The back of each tile is colored red to indicate -1, -x, or -x^2.   This…

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I started with my new students last Monday. We went over classroom procedures the first day and then jumped into some new content the next day to keep on pace with the other math teachers. Now, instead of offering morning help sessions whenever anyone wanted, I am now specifically saying that help sessions are available…

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Sep 24 2011

Last Friday: craziest day ever

So, yesterday (Friday) was the day when all of the classroom switching was going to happen. We weren’t allowed to tell the kids what was happening (a bunch of teachers were switching rooms and the kids were getting new teachers) until the end of the day when the school would send a home a letter…

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Sep 24 2011

For you poli. sci. people…..

Here is a situation where two pieces of public policy that were both well-intentioned and well-thought-out create a toxic situation when combined. According to federal No Child Left Behind policy, when a school doesn’t make Adequate Yearly Progress for a couple of years in a row, students at that school are given the option of…

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Sep 19 2011

Entirely new students?

I found out at the end of the day on Friday that I will be moving to a new classroom down the hall and I will be teaching an entirely different set of students than the students I have been teaching for the last 6 weeks. My school overestimated enrollment for this year, so we…

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About this Blog

Closing the achievement gap with middle school math

Region
Metro Atlanta
Grade
Middle School
Subject
Math

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